Over the course of 2021, the Holocaust Center for Humanity's Lunch-and-Learn virtual program has featured a variety of authors and their books that inform and enrich our understanding of antisemitism, the Holocaust, racism, and other topics of exclusion and oppression, as well as hope.

Below are selected titles featured at our Lunch-and-Learns that can provide you with background and education on these topics. We encourage you to ask your local bookseller or check out the library for these titles:


Horse Crazy

By Sarah Maslin Nir. It may surprise you to learn that there are over seven million horses in America - even more thanHorse Crazy cover when they were the only means of transportation - and nearly two million horse owners. Acclaimed journalist and avid equestrian Sarah Maslin Nir is one of them; she began riding horses when she was just two years old and hasn’t stopped since. Horse Crazy is a fascinating, funny, and moving love letter to these graceful animals and the people who - like her - are obsessed with them. It is also a coming-of-age story of Nir growing up an outsider within the world’s most elite inner circles, and finding her true north in horses.

Woven into these compelling character studies, Nir shares her own moving personal narrative. She details her father’s harrowing tale of surviving the Holocaust, and describes an enchanted but deeply lonely upbringing in Manhattan, where horses became her family. She found them even in the middle of the city, in a stable disguised in an old townhouse and in Central Park, when she chased down truants as an auxiliary mounted patrol officer. And she speaks candidly of how horses have helped her overcome heartbreak and loss. - Simon & Schuster



Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend 

approved unstoppable book cover flat May3 2021By Joshua Greene. Unstoppable is the ultimate immigrant story and an epic David-and-Goliath adventure. In Auschwitz, Siggi used his wits to stay alive, pretending to have trade skills the Nazis could exploit to run the camp. After two death marches and near starvation, he was liberated from camp Mauthausen and went to work for the US Army hunting Nazis, a service that earned him a visa to America. On arrival, he made three vows: to never go hungry again, to support the Jewish people, and to speak out against injustice. From these humble beginnings, he became President, Chairman and CEO of a New York Stock Exchange-listed oil company and grew a full-service commercial bank to more than $4 billion in assets. Siggi’s ascent from the darkest of yesterdays to the brightest of tomorrows holds sway over the imagination in this riveting narrative of grit, cunning, luck, and the determination to live life to the fullest. - unstoppablesiggi.com



Chief Seattle and the Town that Took His Name

By David Buerge. Chief Seattle wrote nothing down during his life, yet his words—both real and imagined—are knownChief Seattle cover throughout the world. The result is a man-made up of both historical and fictional aspects, from which conflicting messages can be gleaned. Buerge’s latest book, published by Sasquatch Books, is the first biography of Chief Seattle intended for adults. 

This is the first thorough historical account of Chief Seattle and his times—the story of a half-century of tremendous flux, turmoil, and violence, during which a native American war leader became an advocate for peace and strove to create a successful hybrid racial community. - Penguin Random House



One Voice, Two Lives

By Cantor David S. Wisnia. David Wisnia was the middle child in a Jewish family of five and a child singing star, but1V2L COVER 206x300 tragedy was soon to begin. After David’s Bar Mitzvah, Germany occupies Poland, Jews were quarantined in the Warsaw Ghetto, and in an instant, David becomes an orphan and a fugitive on the run from the Nazis. Eventually rounded up by the Nazi SS, David became a prisoner of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where he is held for nearly 3 years. After surviving several horrors in Auschwitz, David discovered that his singing voice will ultimately save his life in the camp. Towards the end of the war, during a final death march, David mades a daring escape which leds him directly into the path of U.S. soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division. The men adopt “Little Davey,” taking him with them on their campaign of liberation through Europe. With their help, David Wisnia was able to immigrate to the U.S., where he built a new life and continued singing. - onevoicetwolives.com



A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry

By Sheila Isenberg. The story of Varian Fry is perhaps less well known than that of Oscar Schindler, but to some hehero of our own became known as the "American Schindler" or The Artist's Schindler". In 1940, Fry was sent to France by the Emergency Rescue Committee in New York, with a list of two hundred names and only three thousand dollars in his pocket. The list was made up by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Eleanor Roosevelt, among others. Those on the list were mainly artists, scientists and writers, sculptors who were on the Nazi black list and considered "degenerates". Outlawed and outcast, they had left their countries of origin and were living in France. - Yad Veshem




Among the Remnants: Josh Gortler's Journey

By Josh Gortler. When three-year-old Joshua Gortler and his family were forced from their hometown in Poland duringremnants World War II, they scrambled for safety across border after border, finding refuge at last in Europe’s Displaced Persons Camps.

Undocumented and unschooled, Gortler spent his adolescence learning to survive. When his family eventually relocated to the US, Gortler found himself starting over as teenager in a foreign land with only his spunk and sharp wits to rely on.

After teaching himself English, Gortler managed to complete high school in three years, earn an MSW, and begin what would become a distinguished career in the field of eldercare. Acknowledged as a leading pioneer in his field, Gortler dedicated his professional life to helping others stitch their torn lives back together. - Coffeetown Press

The S.S. Officer's Armchair

By Daniel Lee. Based on documents discovered concealed within a simple chair for seventy years, this grippingss officer investigation into the life of a single S.S. officer during World War Two encapsulates the tragic experience of a generation of Europeans.

In The S.S. Officer's Armchair, Lee weaves detection with biography to tell an astonishing narrative of ambition and intimacy in the Third Reich. He uncovers Griesinger's American back-story--his father was born in New Orleans and the family had ties to the plantations and music halls of nineteenth century Louisiana. As Lee follows the footsteps of a rank and file Nazi official seventy years later, and chronicles what became of him and his family at the war's end, Griesinger's role in Nazi crimes comes into focus. When Lee stumbles on an unforeseen connection between Griesinger and the murder of his own relatives in the Holocaust, he must grapple with potent questions about blame, manipulation, and responsibility. - Hachette Books


Think Black: A Memoir

By Clyde Ford. In this thought-provoking and heartbreaking memoir, award-winning writer Clyde Ford tells the story ofthnk black his father, John Stanley Ford, the first black software engineer at IBM, revealing how racism insidiously affected his father’s view of himself and their relationship.

Viewing the job as the opportunity of a lifetime, the elder Ford comported himself with dignity and professionalism, and relied on his community and his "street smarts" to succeed. He did not know that his hiring was meant to distract from IBM’s dubious business practices, including its involvement in the Holocaust, eugenics, and apartheid.

From his first day of work—with his wide-lapelled suit, bright red turtleneck, and huge afro—Clyde made clear he was different. Only IBM hadn’t changed. As he, too, experienced the same institutional racism, Clyde began to better understand the subtle yet daring ways his father had fought back. - Harper Collins


Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper

By Laurel Leff. An in-depth look at how The New York Times failed in its coverage of the fate of European Jews fromburied by times 1939–45. It examines how the decisions that were made at The Times ultimately resulted in the minimizing and misunderstanding of modern history's worst genocide. Laurel Leff, a veteran journalist and professor of journalism, recounts how personal relationships at the newspaper, the assimilationist tendencies of The Times' Jewish owner, and the ethos of mid-century America, all led The Times to consistently downplay news of the Holocaust. It recalls how news of Hitler's 'final solution' was hidden from readers and - because of the newspaper's influence on other media - from America at large. Buried by The Times is required reading for anyone interested in America's response to the Holocaust and for anyone curious about how journalists determine what is newsworthy. - Cambridge University Press


The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twenthieth Century

By David Laskin. In tracing the roots of this family—his own family—Laskin captures the epic sweep of the twentieththe family century. A modern-day scribe, Laskin honors the traditions, the lives, and the choices of his ancestors: revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, scholars and farmers, tycoons and truck drivers. The Family is a deeply personal, dramatic, and emotional account of people caught in a cataclysmic time in world history.

With cinematic power and beauty, bestselling author David Laskin brings to life the upheavals of the twentieth century through the story of one family, three continents, two world wars, and the rise and fall of nations. - Abe Books

Facing the Mountain

facing the mountainBy Daniel James Brown. Facing the Mountain is an unforgettable chronicle of war-time America and the battlefields of Europe. Based on Daniel James Brown’s extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, it portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese-American families and their sons, who volunteered for 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible. Foreward written by Tom Ikeda, founding Executive Director of the nonprofit, Densho. - Penguin Random House