Books
Open daily from 10 am to 1pm except Saturdays and outside these hours by special arrangement. Contact us on +64 4 801 9480

The Holocaust: a reader

holocaust a reader bookThis interdisciplinary collection of primary and secondary readings encourages scholars and students to engage critically with current debates about the origins, implementation and postwar interpretation of the Holocaust.

Interdisciplinary content encourages students to engage with philosophical, political, cultural and literary debate as well as historiographical issues.
Integrates oral histories and testimonies from both victims and perpetrators, including Jewish council leaders, victims of ghettos and camps, SS officials and German soldiers.
Subsections can be used as the basis for oral or written exercises.

Whole articles or substantial extracts are included wherever possible.

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The Violinist

the violinist bookThe book by Sarah Gaitanos about Clare Galambos Winter, past member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian survivor of Auschwitz, is available to purchase from the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand.

Klára Galambos was a twenty-year-old violin student in Budapest in March 1944. Arrested and thrown into jail in the first days after the German occupation, she survived the Szombathely ghetto, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. After five weeks she and her aunt were among the thousand Hungarian women selected for slave labour at Allendorf.

Clare and her aunt Rozsi were the only members of their family who survived. They came to New Zealand in 1949 to begin a new life. Clare joined the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as a violinist and was a prominent member of the orchestra for 32 years until her retirement.

A Second Life: Aprica to salvation in Switzerland 1943

aprica to salvation bookThis book tells the story of more than 200 foreign Jews who had been in interned in the small Italian town of Aprica who fled successfully over the Italian-Swiss border. 

After graduating from the University of Auckland with a Master's degree in Physics in 1961, a scholarship took Alan Poletti to the University of Oxford, England. Following post doctoral research in Oxford and then at Brookhaven National Laboratory, he became a Staff Scientist at the Lockheed Palo Alto Laboratory before returning to the University of Auckland to take up the Chair in Nuclear Physics which he held for thirty years until his retirement in 1999. He was one of the first New Zealand scientists to carry out collaborative research about the Jews interned in Aprica.

The Deckston Story

deckston story bookAnnie and Max Deckston, originally from Russia,  arrived in New Zealand in 1900. They farmed in the Hutt Valley for ten years, then moved to Wellington where they were engaged in a number of businesses, and property development.  By the 1920s they had accumulated a considerable fortune, which enabled them to help their relatives move to Wellington. In the 1930s, the Deckstons brought out twenty Jewish orphans from Bialystok and set up a home for Jewish children in Berhampore, Wellington. The Deckstons saved these children from the fate of their families, most of whom were murdered in the Holocaust. When the children grew up and there was no longer a need for a children’s home, the estate of Max and Annie Deckston  was used to fund a Jewish old age home in Naenae, Lower Hutt. When this home ceased catering for Jewish residents, the funds were used to support elderly Jewish people and to foster Jewish education.  Many of the orphaned Deckston children later moved to Melbourne, but others stayed in New Zealand and became successful, assimilated New Zealanders.

Film and the Shoah in France and Italy

film and the shoah bookAuthor Giacomo Lichtner is a cultural historian of Modern Europe with a theoretical interest in cinema as a privileged mediator between history and memory. Film and the Shoah in France and Italy is a uniquely comparative analysis of the role of cinema in the development of collective memories of the Shoah in these countries. The work follows a chronological structure of which three French documentaries - Night and Fog, The Sorrow, and The Pity and Shoah - form the backbone. These three sections are linked by comparative case studies on famous and lesser-known fictional works, such as Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful, Louis Malle's Lacombe Lucien, Armand Gatti's The Enclosure, and Radu Mihaileanu's Train of Life. The book tackles crucial themes, such as the politics of history and its representation, the 1970s obsession with collaboration, and the ethical debate around cinema's ability adequately to represent the Shoah.

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My Two Lives

my two lives bookAmong the extensive concentration camp records examined after the war were countless prisoner photographs.  One particular photograph of a young woman with a shaved head and sad eyes records her fate as “a Jewish woman from Slovakia, name unknown … her subsequent fate, unknown.” That prisoner was Lotte Weiss, who was born in Czechoslovakia, into a large and loving family. Her harmonious upbringing came to an abrupt end, when, in 1942, she was forcibly deported, along with two of her sisters, to Auschwitz.

Tragically, three months later, the rest of her family were also taken, and Lotte alone survived three year’s slave labour in the death camp, from where only a handful returned.

She survived a harrowing ordeal, but meeting her husband, and having children also contributed to Lotte’s healing process and inner strength. Through her open heart, her never-ending good humour and positive attitude to life, she has shaken off the label of ‘fate unknown’.

She feels compelled to tell her story to the younger generation in the hope that these tragedies will never happen again.

The Train Journey: Transit, Captivity, and Witnessing in the Holocaust

train journey bookDeportations by train were critical in the Nazis' genocidal vision of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question. Historians have estimated that between 1941 and 1944 up to three million Jews were transported to their deaths in concentration and extermination camps. In his writings on the Final Solution,  Raul Hilberg pondered the role of trains: How can railways be regarded as anything more than physical equipment that was used, when the time came, to transport the Jews from various cities to shooting grounds and gas chambers in Eastern Europe?  This book explores the question by analyzing the victims' experiences at each stage of forced relocation: the round-ups and departures from the ghettos, the captivity in trains, and finally, the arrival at the camps. Utilizing a variety of published memoirs and unpublished testimonies, the book argues that victims experienced the train journeys as mobile chambers, comparable in importance to the more studied, fixed locations of persecution, such as ghettos and camps.

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Under New Stars: Poems of the New Zealand Exile

under new stars bookTranslations by Andrew Paul Wood, Margot Ruben, Dean and Renate Koch, edited by Friedrich Voit.

Karl Wolfskehl (1869-1948) was probably the most prominent literary figure among the refugees from Nazi Germany who came to New Zealand in the 1930s. Aged 69 when he arrived in this country, Wolfskehl wrote his finest poetry here in the last decade of his life. Until now little work by this important poet has been available in English translation. Now Andrew Paul Wood of Christchurch has added many new translations to existing versions by Margot Ruben and Dean and Renate Koch to provide a substantial bi-lingual selection of the work of Wolfskehl’s New Zealand exile, including his masterpiece Job or The Four Mirrors.

In addition to the poems, presented on facing pages in both German and English, the book includes a substantial introduction by Friedrich Voit, a Note on Translation by Andrew Paul Wood, several tipped-in photographs (including two of Wolfskehl and one of his grave at Waikumete Cemetery), a facsimile of a handwritten poem, and a drawing by Leo Bensemann, alluded to in the poem To the Creator of “Fantastica”.

Copies can be ordered through Holloway Press

This Way: covering/uncovering Tadeusz Borowski's this way for the gas, ladies and gentlemen

this way bookA lavishly illustrated book on the visual represenatation of the Holocaust experience as descibed in Tadeusz Borowski's stories.

It is edited by Marco Sonzogni, Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Cultures at Victoria University and a widely published academic and an award-winning editor, poet and literary translator.

This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen is a scholarly work that uses Borowski’s stories to explore the relationship between verbal and visual representations of war and genocide through critical analyses of book covers selected from an international competition for a new cover of This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen. This Way includes an extensive critical apparatus: foreword, introduction, academic essays, commentaries on the book covers, afterword, and notes. Authors and advisors include noted authorities on the Holocaust, Holocaust literature and Holocaust representation.

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The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is located at the Wellington Jewish Community Centre,

80 Webb Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011.

Open Sunday - Friday 10am - 1pm, and outside these hours by special arrangement.

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