Holocaust Reading List - Background Reading for Wagner at Pacific Opera Victoria

Pacific Opera Victoria will present Richard Wagner‚??s five-hour epic opera Die Walk√ľre in October 2023. Although the music transcends, approaching Wagner in 2023 means reckoning with Wagner's influentially anti-Semetic views and the legacy that they have had.

This list offers some context for Wagner's views alongside the history of the real life impact those views have had.

Updated September 27, 2023
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Alias Anna a true story of outwitting the Nazis : Zhanna Arshanskaya, a biography in verse
Hood, Susan, 1954- author. 
A Sydney Taylor Book Award 2023 Middle Grade Notable! A Jewish Book Council Award Middle Grade Finalist! The moving true story of how young Ukrainian Jewish piano prodigies Zhanna (alias "Anna") and her sister Frina outplayed their pursuers while hiding in plain sight during the...
Chance escape from the Holocaust
Shulevitz, Uri, 1935- author, illustrator. 
Winner of the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Illustrated Books for Older Readers A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2020 A New York Times Best Children's Book of 2020 Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2020 Booklist Best...
Fatherland a memoir of war, conscience, and family secrets
Bilger, Burkhard 
A New Yorker staff writer investigates his grandfather, a Nazi Party Chief, in "a finely etched memoir with the powerful sweep of history" (David Grann, #1 bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon) "Fatherland maintains the momentum of the...
The happiest man on Earth the beautiful life of an Auschwitz survivor
Jaku, Eddie 
A New York Times Bestseller In this uplifting memoir in the vein of The Last Lecture and Man's Search for Meaning, a Holocaust survivor pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom, and living his best possible life. Born in Leipzig, Germany, into a...
In the garden of the righteous the heroes who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust
Hurowitz, Richard 
"In the Garden of the Righteous brilliantly describes how in the midst of the brutality of the Holocaust and the collaboration, acquiescence and passivity of millions, there were people who risked their lives to save others out of a sense of shared humanity. This book is more timely...
Just a girl a true story of World War II
Levi, Lia, 1931- author. 
WINNER OF THE MILDRED L. BATCHELDER AWARD! In this award-winning memoir translated from Italian to English, a Jewish girl grows up during a difficult time of racial discrimination and war, and discovers light in unexpected places. This classic, powerful story from Lia Levi is adapted for...
The last secret of the secret annex the untold story of Anne Frank, her silent protector, and a family betrayal
Wijk, Joop van, 1949- author. 
A riveting historical investigation and family memoir that intertwines the iconic narrative of Anne Frank with the untold story of Bep Voskuijl, her protector and closest confidante in the Annex, bringing us closer to understanding one of the great secrets of World War II. Anne...
One hundred Saturdays Stella Levi and the search for a lost world
Frank, Michael, 1959 June 2- author. 
One of Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Books of the Year * Winner of the National Jewish Book Awards for Holocaust Memoir and Sephardic Culture * Recipient of the Jewish Book Council's Natan Notable Book Award * Winner of the Sophie Brody...
Plunder a memoir of family property and Nazi treasure
Kaiser, Menachem, 1985- author. 
A New York Times Critics' Best Nonfiction Book of 2021 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Biography From a gifted young writer, the story of his quest to reclaim his family's apartment building in Poland--and of the astonishing entanglement with Nazi treasure...
A village in the Third Reich how ordinary lives were transformed by the rise of fascism
Boyd, Julia, 1948- author. 
An intimate portrait of German life during World War II, shining a light on ordinary people living in a picturesque Bavarian village under Nazi rule, from a past winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History. Hidden deep in the Bavarian mountains lies the...
I want you to know we're still here a post-Holocaust memoir
Foer, Esther Safran 
NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARDS FINALIST * "Part personal quest, part testament, and all thoughtfully, compassionately written."--The Washington Post   "Esther Safran Foer is a force of nature: a leader of the Jewish people, the matriarch of America's leading literary...
When time stopped a memoir of my father's war and what remains
Neumann, Ariana 
In this remarkably moving memoir Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father's past: years spent hiding in plain sight in war-torn Berlin, the annihilation of dozens of family members in the Holocaust, and the courageous choice to build anew. In 1941, the first...

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