There are no words to explain that feeling when you walk through those gates at Auschwitz.
Seeing with our own eyes The familiar words “Arbeit macht frei” will forever seem incomprehensible. We find it so important to visit Holocaust sites on our trips. The stories that come from these horrific places can never be forgotten. The wounds will never heal from these inhuman acts. The pain will always be there. That’s why it is so important to share the stories of those who can no longer. We must never forget.
The stories of those who survived
Reading the stories from survivors of the Holocaust changed our experience at these sites completely. A pathway was no longer simply a path. It was a place where millions touched it with their own individual stories and their need to survive.
The stories of the survivors all echoed something unforgettable. No matter the horrific things they were going through, no matter how close they were to giving up, there were glimmers of hope . However, No matter how small it was, joy was occasionally found in the darkest of places. Here is a list of True Story books to read before visiting Auschwitz and other Holocaust Sites. These Books will help to further understand the lives and experiences of those at Auschwitz and other concentration camps.
We have also included 3 other bonus books books to read before visiting Auschwitz for you to continue your reading Journey.
1.The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Get your copy now: The Tattooist of Auschwitz- Heather Morris
“How Can Someone Do This to Another Human Being?”
This is one of the first Holocaust Stories I read based on Survivors Stories. It was the start of my Journey of my own Individual Holocaust Education.
In 1942 Lale Sokolav arrived at Auschwitz and was given the role of tattooing the prisoners. Through the horrific process of scratching numbers onto fellow victims arms, he met Gita. The powerful tale of Lale and Gita finding love in these terrifying circumstances is both beautiful and haunting. This is one of the books to read before visiting Auschwitz to get an insight into this horrifying historical time.
Get your copy now: The Volunteer-Jack Fairweather
“He Remained Focused on the Survival of his Men and His Country”
This is the story of Polish Born Witold Pilecki. Jack Fairweather magnificently retells the story of how Pilecki accepted a mission. This mission was to uncover the events occurring at Auschwitz.
This challenging mission also included raising a secured army as well as staging an uprising. Pikecki spent over 2 years creating an underground army that sabotaged facilities at Auschwitz. Also an important part of his mission was to collect evidence of the atrocities happening . The story of this resistance hero who infiltrated Auschwitz really highlights one the unsung heroes of WW2 and is one of the must read books to read before visiting Auschwitz.
3. Questions I am asked about the Holocaust
Get your copy Now: Questions I am asked about the Holocaust- Heidi Fried
” As Individuals, we have a will and a responsibility, and only by taking responsibility can we avoid history repeating itself once again”
Hedi Fried has dedicated her life educating people about the Holocaust. With complete sensitivity she answers questions about this cruel period of time. Heidi was born in 1924 in Romania and was transported to Auschwitz in 1944. Fried answers the questions that are often asked such as “Did you Dream at night?”. The aim of this is to urge those to make sure this never happens again.
This unique and open approach to her experience makes this one of the top books to read before visiting Auschwitz
4.The Librarian of Auschwitz
Get your copy now: The Librarian of Auschwitz- Antonio Iturbe
“Books are Very Dangerous, They make People Think”
This is the story of Dita who becomes the Secret Librarian of Auschwitz. She was tasked with taking charge of the very limited and damaged books . However, her most dangerous task smuggling them past the guards. The writer has amazingly echoed throughout the pages Dita’s Strength and Courage at such a small age. Throughout reading this you can’t help but to be overwhelmed by Dita’s Resilience and endurance.
This detailed account allows the reader to get an in-depth insight into the living conditions and struggles in Auschwitz and other concentration camps. This is one of the most important books to read before visiting Auschwitz
5.First one in, last one out: Auschwitz Survivor 31321: A Memoir
“Never again can or will this happen”
M. Shimon’s memoir shares the harrowing stories of her Uncle Murray’s Auschwitz Experience. Murray Schienberg was a Polish Jew and one of the first 8 men to enter Auschwitz.
This account is moving and so heartfelt. Shimon captures amazingly mans determination to survive. If you are planing on visiting a concentration camp this s one account you should read. Murray’s story needs to be shared so no one ever forgets.
Reading this account is a must for all of humanity and is one of the most fundamental books to read before visiting Auschwitz.
6. The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz
Get your copy now: The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz- Denis Avey
This is a Most Important book, and a timely reminder of the dangers that face any society once intolerance and racism take hold.
This True Story of a British Soldier who went willingly smuggled himself into Auschwitz is remarkable. This Book portrays amazingly the bravery of the Soldier who needed to see what was happening in the Camp Himself. Avey throughout the pages captures the Death Camps to their Core and the impact they had on all of those trying to just Survive. This is one of the books you need to read before visiting Auschwitz
7. Auschwitz A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account
Get your copy Now: Auschwitz A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account- Miklos Nyiszli
“If all men are good, there can be no Auschwitz”
Many of the Auschwitz Accounts talk about the fear and brutal nature that followed Dr Mengele. Well this heartbreaking account looks into some of the darkest moments in history through one mans eyes. A Hungarian Jew who ended up with a shocking role, working on experiments under Joseph Mengele. This is a rare account behind the horrific nature of Dr Mengele and one of the books you need to read before visiting Auschwitz.
“To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”
In only 150 pages, Wiesel’s terrifying document of the loss and fear for himself and others around him is captured so powerfully. It also leaves the reader constantly reminded of the horrors that occurred during this time.
This account is utterly heartbreaking but one of the most important books to read before visiting Auschwitz and other holocaust sites.
3 Additional Holocaust Survivor books to read before visiting Auschwitz
These are 3 additional books you should read before visiting Auschwitz and other Holocaust sites to continue learning the stories of those who suffered during the Holocaust.
Click on the Books below to get your copy ⬇️
The Choice- Edith Eger
Last Stop Auschwitz- Eddy de Wind
The Sisters of Auschwitz- Roxane Van Iperen
Books to read before visiting Auschwitz sign off: This list of Holocaust accounts are so important to read so we never forget the lives taken. For anyone visiting Auschwitz or any other Holocaust Sites it will completely change you visit.