I am always on the lookout for an enthralling historical fiction novel to transport me to another time and another place. Recently, a friend recommended The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer. This novel takes place in Budapest, Hungary and Paris, France during the late 1930’s when Europe was in the grip of the rising Nazi threat. The story begins in Budapest, Hungary as a young Hungarian Jew, Andras Levi, leaves for Paris to begin his studies at Ecole Speciale d’Architecture. While in Paris, Andras meets and falls in love with Klara, a Hungarian ballet instructor. Their love story is the centerpiece of this riveting novel that immerses the reader in the terrifying life that Hungarian Jews endured during the Second World War. I could not put this book down. Warning: it is about 600 pages in length, but every page is beautifully written and absolutely captivating. Vivid details, excellent characterization, and impeccable historical research make this book a memorable read. If you love historical fiction and are looking for a long, satisfying summer read, try The Invisible Bridge. ( Also available as a downloadable audio book or ebook ).
The Holocaust (1939 -1945)
Genocide, meticulously planned in Nazi Germany and executed with international complicity, resulting in the destruction of the European Jewish Community (Six million people - men, women and over one million children) and taking the lives of “political dissidents, P.O.W.'s, Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally ill. “ The Holocaust: a nightmare of brutal, technologically assisted criminality, with a destructive fallout working its devilment first amongst the living, and then into the being of generations to come.
Maus Trilogy, by Art Spiegelman
In graphic novel format, Art Spiegelman presents a unique and deeply personal account of the Holocaust, intertwining history, parental interview, and his own memoir of historically induced emotional trauma. A tragic tale made bearable by its artistic presentation.
Vladek Spiegelman's lifestory continues in this anguishing chronical of separation, loss, survival and lasting wounds.
The inside story of the creation of Art Spiegelman's 1992 Pulitzer Prize awarded graphic novel, Maus. (Complete with hyperlinked DVD.)
On Exhibit through July 12th, 2012 at King Library – 5th Floor – Cultural Heritage Area
The Courage To Remember" is a 42 panel educational exhibit on the Holocaust of 1933-1945. It is an historical account of the Nazis' murderous campaign in which 6 million Jews and others (political dissidents, P.O.W.'s, Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally ill) were killed between 1933 and 1945. The crimes of the Nazis during the Holocaust serve as a dark chapter of the 20th century. Yet, the causes of the Holocaust remain with us today. Man's flawed nature, racism and complacency of ordinary people in the persecution of others persist therefore, the need for this exhibit. Individual citizens must have the courage to remember, educate themselves of this tragedy and commit to prevent such crimes from happening again.
This exhibit of the Museum of Tolerance is made possible by an educational grant from SNCF and presented by the Foundation for California.
The Holocaust - A Research Guide to the SJPL Catalog
Here's one of those rare books that is so enthralling you can't put it down, and you feel a better person for having read the book. For me, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books. Well, I've found another... The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
It takes place in WWII Germany, and while it involves weighty subject matter, it's also uplifting and heartwarming. I can't recommend it enough... for adults and for high school students. SJPL has copies in many formats, including CD and as an electronic download.
If you like The Book Thief, you might also want to read Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.