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Recommended Media

Fiction

  • A People's Future of the United States - Speculative Fiction from 25 Extraordinary Writers
    • This collection features a variety of moving, visionary stories written from the perspective of people of color, indigenous writers, women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Muslims, and other people who face xenophobia and whose lives are often at risk.
  • Badenheim 1939
    • One of the great Hebrew novels, Badenheim 1939 was beloved writer Appelfeld’s first novel to be published in English in 1980. It revolves around a fictional, mostly Jewish resort town in Austria, in which the Nazis, never explicitly mentioned, are disguised in the abstract as the “Sanitation Department,” a specter that drives the Jewish vacationers to distraction. Appelfeld was a survivor himself — and every word he wrote rings true.
  • More: A Novel
    • “More” recounts the story of a boy named Gaza who works with his father, a human trafficker, and it conveys the suffering of refugees and migrants as they try to make their way from war-torn countries like Afghanistan and Syria through Turkey and eventually on to Greece
  • The Moon is Down
    • The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck is a novel and play published in 1942, not long after the United States entered World War II. The setting is a fictional northern European town that has just been invaded by an unnamed country fighting Russia and England.

Non-Fiction

  • Anti­semitism: Here and Now
    • Lipstadt writes in the form of a series of letters between a "whip smart" college student and a well-intentioned, non-Jewish law school professor. The questions raised in the letters are based on actual questions that she has been asked about antisemitism. Lipstadt’s defines anti-Semitism as “not the hatred of people who happen to be Jews. It is hatred of them because they are Jews.” and stipulates that it arises “independently of any action by Jews.”
  • By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans
    • On February 19, 1942, following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a fateful order that allowed for the summary removal of Japanese aliens and American citizens of Japanese descent from their West Coast homes and their incarceration under guard in camps. Amid the numerous histories and memoirs devoted to this shameful event, FDR's contributions have been seen as negligible. Now, using Roosevelt's own writings, his advisors' letters and diaries, and internal government documents, Greg Robinson reveals the president's central role in making and implementing the internment and examines not only what the president did but why.
  • Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
    • The shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews.
  • Parkland: Birth of a Movement
    • On the first anniversary of the events at Parkland, the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of Columbine offers an intimate, deeply moving account of the extraordinary teenage survivors who became activists and pushed back against the NRA and feckless Congressional leaders--inspiring millions of Americans to join their grassroots #neveragain movement.
  • (((Semi­tism))): Being Jew­ish in Amer­i­ca in the Age of Trump
    • This book explores Weisman’s own Jewish identity and the expectations of his detractors and supporters. He explores the rise of the Alt-Right, the state of anti-Semitism today, and proposes how society should combat antisemitism to move forward.
  • Squirrel Hill: A Neighborhood History (American Chronicles)
    • Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood began on the frontier of western Pennsylvania 250 years ago and developed into a vibrant urban community. Early settler John Turner, half brother of renegade Simon Girty, survived capture by Native Americans and experienced firsthand the change from dangerous wilderness to established farming community. Wealthy landowners Henry Clay Frick and Mary Schenley bestowed Squirrel Hill its grand public parks. Hyman Little, Herman Kamin and countless others moved to the hill and made it Pittsburgh's premier Jewish community, with a tightknit cluster of synagogues, temples and a thriving business district. The Squirrel Hill Historical Society and editor Helen Wilson explore the fascinating history of one of Pittsburgh's historic neighborhoods.

Journals

Essays

Narrative Film

  • Ambulance (1962)
    • In this haunting short fiction film, a group of Jewish children and their teacher are herded into an ambulance by Nazis; the vehicle, ordinarily representing comfort and safety, becomes the group’s death chamber. Morgenstern’s presentation of the incident serves as a metaphor for the horror of the Holocaust, and provides a powerful trigger for discussion of the disturbing issues raised by the film. The figure of the children's’ teacher specifically parallels Janusz Korcak (1879-1942), a famous Jewish educator who ran an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto and died with his young charges at Treblinka.
  • Ida (2013)
    • A Polish film about a young nun who learns that she is the daughter of Jewish parents killed during the Holocaust, is a sparse, powerful film by director, Pawel Pawlikowski. "Ida" beat eight other films from Russia, Sweden, Mauritania, Georgia, Estonia, Argentina, Holland and Venezuela for the best foreign-language film Oscar in 2015. It is certainly a movie worth seeing, but it may also be difficult to appreciate properly because of the way in which it stylizes memory; it strives for a simplicity that becomes, instead, a kind of ostentation. I almost found it too easy to admire. Given the seriousness of its intention, this is a work that should require serious confrontation, not a facile response to its obvious artiness, but its artistic ambition is what makes me unable to have an unequivocal appreciation of its value.
  • Schindler's List (1993)
    • Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his factory with Jewish workers for similarly pragmatic reasons. When the SS begins exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.
  • Son of Saul (2015)
    • During World War II, a Jewish worker (Géza Röhrig) at the Auschwitz concentration camp tries to find a rabbi to give a child a proper burial.

Documentaries

  • Antisemitism Today
    • This film explains how anti-Semitic violence and denial of the Holocaust are a threat to today’s society, especially “liberal” society. The film explores examples from Europe, the United States, and the Middle East.
  • Night and Fog (1956)
    • Filmmaker Alain Resnais documents the atrocities behind the walls of Hitler's concentration camps.
  • Shoah (1985)
    • Director Claude Lanzmann spent 11 years on this sprawling documentary about the Holocaust, conducting his own interviews and refusing to use a single frame of archival footage. Dividing Holocaust witnesses into three categories -- survivors, bystanders and perpetrators -- Lanzmann presents testimonies from survivors of the Chelmno concentration camp, an Auschwitz escapee and witnesses of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, as well as a chilling report of gas chambers from an SS officer at Treblinka.
  • The Lady in Number 6: Music Save My Life (2013)
    • This fantastic 38-minute film won best short documentary at the 2014 Academy Awards. The film's subject, Alice (who at the time of its release was the world's oldest living holocaust survivor) was born on November 26, 1903 into an upper-class Jewish family steeped in literature and classical music. In 1943, however, Alice and her husband, their 6-year old son Raphael (Rafi), and Alice’s mother were loaded on the transport to Theresienstadt, a fortress town some 30 miles from Prague which was touted by Nazi propaganda as the model ghetto — “The Fuhrer’s gift to the Jews,” with its own orchestra, theater group and even soccer teams. Throughout the film, Alice, a concert pianist, describes how her optimism and music pushed her to survive the horrors of the holocaust. Alice died in London on February 23 at the age of 110 one week before the documentary won the Oscar.

Podcasts

  • Confronting Hatred: 70 Years after the Holocaust
    • This hour-long special, airing on public radio stations across the country, brings together a broad range of voices to talk about racism, antisemitism, and the ways in which hatred can grow. We hear from a former skinhead, an imam, a prosecutor for the Rwandan genocide trials; people speaking from many perspectives, including heavy metal singer David Draiman, filmmaker Errol Morris, and Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel.
  • On Squirrel Hill (Unorthodox)
    • Ep. 156: In the wake of tragedy in Pittsburgh, a testament to the city’s Jewish community, recorded on the ground.