Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour. The Holocaust, in which 11 million people died, was the largest atrocity of the 20th century and perhaps the hardest to understand. Approximately 6 million Jews and 5 million others including Roma people, Poles, Russian prisoners of war, political prisoners, homosexuals, people of colour, Jehovah´s Witnesses, and various other minorities were first persecuted and then murdered. How, both morally and logistically, had this came to happen? From received sentiments of anti-Semitism at the beginning of the 20th century, through the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 and finally Second World War, the victimisation of these minorities intensified beyond precedent. With the complicity of a nation hatred became policy. Under the control of sadists, bureaucrats and even ordinary soldiers, irrational acts were then enacted on an industrial scale, and with the use of concentration camps, Western Europe witnessed its most shocking treatment of humanity in modern history. Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jonathan Keeble. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/hcuk/001474/bk_hcuk_001474_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Irene Gut was just 17 in 1939, when the Germans and Russians devoured her native Poland. Just a girl, really. But a girl who saw evil and chose to defy it. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Hope Davis. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/lili/001852/bk_lili_001852_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
For half a century, a terrible secret lay hidden, locked in a trunk in an attic... photos, official documents, and scraps of a diary written by a young girl. ´´The time has come when I must share my life story... some facts from the past that could make a contribution, however small it may be, to the history of mankind.´´ The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a haunting eyewitness account of Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister, a remarkable Russian-American woman who saw and survived unspeakable evils as a young girl. For half a century, she kept her story secret while living a normal American life. She locked all her photos, documents, diaries, and dark memories from World War II in a trunk. Late in life, she unlocked the trunk, first for herself, then for her husband, and now for the rest of the world. Nonna´s story is one of suffering, torture, and death - but also of incredible acts of kindness that show the ultimate triumph of faith and love over despair and evil. The Secret Holocaust Diaries is in part a tragedy, yet it´s also an unforgettable true story about forgiveness, courage, and hope. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Rebecca Gallagher. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/oasi/000549/bk_oasi_000549_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Jewish historian Zosa Szajkowski gathered up tens of thousands of documents from Nazi buildings in Berlin and, later, public archives and private synagogues in France and moved them all, illicitly, to New York. In The Archive Thief, Lisa Moses Leff reconstructs Szajkowski´s story in all its ambiguity. Born into poverty in Russian Poland, Szajkowski first made his name in Paris as a communist journalist. In the late 1930s, as he saw the threats to Jewish safety rising in Europe, he broke with the party and committed himself to defending his people in a new way, as a scholar associated with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Following a harrowing 1941 escape from France and US army service, Szajkowski struggled to remake his life as a historian, eking out a living as a YIVO archivist in postwar New York. His scholarly output was tremendous nevertheless; he published scores of studies on French Jewish history that opened up new ways of thinking about Jewish emancipation, modernization, and the rise of modern antisemitism. But underlying Szajkowski´s scholarly accomplishments were the documents he stole, moved, and eventually sold to American and Israeli research libraries, where they remain today. Part detective story, part analysis of the construction of history, The Archive Thief offers a window into the debates over the rightful ownership of contested Jewish archives and the powerful ideological, economic, and psychological forces that have made Jewish scholars care so deeply about preserving the remnants of their past. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Suzanne Toren. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/023515/bk_adbl_023515_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Beyond the Barbed Wire: An Artists View of the Holocaust is the story of Ben Altman and the miracle of life. As a child, Ben wanted to become a painter, but his life circumstances did not allow that freedom; instead he learned the practical skills of a tailor. During World War II, Ben´s first wife and son were captured and taken to Auschwitz. After spending the night together on the streets of a ghetto in Poland, they were separated when Ben left them in the early morning to find work. He never saw them again. Later, Ben was also captured by the Nazis and placed in five different camps around Poland.Ben survived the camps because his skills were useful to the Nazis. After his camp was freed by the Russians, Ben went on to live in San Francisco and to make his living as a tailor, eventually becoming the official tailor for the San Francisco Opera House.It was after his retirement that a lifetime of memories poured out of him, and onto his canvases. The images of his dreams and emotions are not only a powerful reminder of a brutal period in his life and in human history, but they are also an inspiration and a reminder that our thoughts create who we are. Featuring commentary and insight by Fred Alan Wolf, best selling author and star of the hit film What the Bleep Do We Know?, Beyond the Barbed Wire is testament of the human will to survive and transcend even the most horrifying and powerless situations, while never losing hope and never losing sight of our dreams. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Fred Alan Wolf. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/rt/real/000174/rt_real_000174_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Edith Beer starts her story by remembering a fellow nurse who illegally bought an onion to feed to a dying Russian soldier. Beer explains that she, a nurse´s aide, could have caused trouble for her fellow nurses because the Nazi regime frowned upon forming friendships with prisoners or with people who were not Nordic Aryans. Beer explains that many of the other nurses would have caused trouble for her because they bought into the propaganda, truly believing that they were better than the foreign prisoners they served. Instead of bartering for food to give to the injured prisoners, they were more likely to steal food from the prisoners, to bring that food home so the nurses could feed their own hungry families. Most of the prisoners in Brandenburg were not actually injured in war but injured in their servitude; having been conquered, they were forced to work in factories full of industrial accidents. Beer explains that she was transferred from this ward of injured prisoners to work in the maternity ward because someone tattled on her, saying she was too friendly with the foreigners. Informers to the Gestapo were everywhere. Before the war, Beer was a law student in Austria, but as the war grew and Germany spread, her name was put on a wanted list. To avoid persecution, she became a U-boat; a Jewish person living with a secret identity in the heart of Germany. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Laura Copland. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/059280/bk_acx0_059280_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A child’s innocence is the purest of all.In Nazi Germany, Helga Haswell is at a crossroads. She’s become pregnant by a married SS officer, who has since abandoned her. Left alone with the thought of raising a fatherless child, she has nowhere to turn - until the Lebensborn steps in. They will take Helga’s child when it’s born and raise it as their own. Helga will now be free to live her life. But when Helga has second thoughts, it’s already too late. The papers were signed, and her claim to her child was revoked. Her daughter belongs to Hitler now. And when Hitler’s delusions of grandeur rapidly accelerate, Germany becomes involved in a two-front war against the heroic West and the fearless Russians.Helga’s child seems doomed to a life raised by the cruelest humans on Earth. But God’s plan for her sends the young girl to the most unexpected people. And in their warm embrace, she’s given the chance for love in a world full of hate.You Are My Sunshine is the heartfelt story of second chances. Helga Haswell may be tied to an unthinkable past, but her young daughter...has the chance at a brighter day. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Juliet Jones. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/138689/bk_acx0_138689_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
By way of introducing my listeners to a special world, often known only to the orthodox Chassidic Jewish community, I have selected to share my experiences as an eight-year-old American boy. I am the third of nine children, the oldest boy and named after my deeply Chassidic great-grandfather, Eliyahu. It was thought that in order for me to give honor to his name I should be exposed to the lifestyle he and his family lived. As a young child I was moved from a modern American orthodox home to my grandparents´ home located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. There I met a new type of Jew, Hungarian Jews, refugees from Europe. Many had their children born in ´´displaced person camps.´´ They had just arrived with their families to New York after a hard-earned escape from the Russian suppression of Hungary in 1957. While living with my grandparents, called Upa and Uma, I learned how to live and dress in a Chassidic lifestyle. I learned to love my teacher, called Rebbe, and my classmates. In the 1950s, almost all of my classmates were children of the infamous Auschwitz deportees from Hungary. Most teachers had branded tattooed numbers on their arm, physical reminders of inhuman cruelties. I remember visiting a family with my Uma, and being told by the mother, ´´How lucky you are yingela, sonny-boy, that you have a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, uncles, aunts, and even grandparents. The only thing I have left from Germany is this!´´ She shoved her arm with the blue numbers in front of me. Other times, my Jewish teacher, a survivor of the camps, would cry in class, thinking of the suffering he and his family had experienced. Many of the school children were from second marriages. Either their father´s or mother´s first spouse had been killed. It wasn´t uncommon for children to have half brothers and sisters who were 10 or 15 years older than they. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Shlomo Zacks. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/027356/bk_acx0_027356_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In this epic tale of friendship and loss from the author of The Sugar Men, fate pushes childhood friends to opposite sides of a terrible war - but is forgiveness always possible?Ukraine, 1923. On a small farm, two boys are born within days of each other, both Ukrainian, one Jewish. Mykhail and Asher grow up inseparable, together finding friendship, adventure and escape from the harshness of Russian rule. But after Asher’s family flees to Warsaw, their worlds are torn to shreds by the Second World War.The war brings cruelty to both boys. Although Asher finds love in Warsaw, the city is far from the haven his family sought; meanwhile Mykhail becomes a victim of the bitter struggle for Ukraine. But worse follows, in the shape of the Treblinka death camp. There, both men must obey orders, and both find their morals compromised and their souls tortured. The inhuman horrors they witness cast long shadows. Many years later, their paths cross once more, and each man must confront the legacy of his actions. When the darkest of secrets can no longer be kept hidden, can their friendship survive the final reckoning? 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jeremy Arthur, Brittany Wilkerson. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/brll/011350/bk_brll_011350_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.