Holocaust (World War Two)

Where can I find information about the Holocaust?

Entry last updated: 19/11/18

Introduction

Holocaust is the name given to the systematic persecution and extermination of over six million Jews and others in Europe during the World War Two. The plan for this was devised by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Jews and others, who Hitler perceived were enemies of Germany were imprisoned in concentration camps, then transferred to death camps where exterminations were carried out under the name Final Solution.

General websites

For a general overview of all aspects of the Holocaust, we recommend starting with these EPIC resources.

EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

Britannica School

Britannica School covers a wide range of topics and is a good starting point for information. It covers the Holocaust from its origins to its legacy.

World History in Context

This resource covers world history from ancient times right up to the current time. The information is displayed in a variety of multimedia formats.

  • Choose the link Browse Topics.
  • Select Holocaust from the alphabetical list.

Student Resources in Context

This resource covers a wide range of topics which are presented in a range of formats including full text content from newspapers and magazines.

  • Choose the link Browse Topics.
  • Select Holocaust from the alphabetical listing.
  • Check out the Holocaust literature section where you can find out about novels, poems and short stories written about the Holocaust.
  • There is also a link to Critical essays on the menu on the right.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Holocaust museums

Holocaust museums have been established as educational and research centres to preserve the memories and experiences of people who were tortured during the Holocaust. We have chosen two well known museums, from different countries for you to explore.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

This museum is located in Washington DC in the United States and has a focus on education about the Holocaust and the consequences of hatred. It is described as A living memorial to the Holocaust.

Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center

Yad Vashem Museum is located in Israel and has a strong focus on education through The International School for Holocaust Studies and on research through the International Institute for Holocaust Research.

  • Choose from the links on the front page eg The Holocaust or,
  • use the search bar to find information.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

Primary sources

These sites have great primary sources related to the Holocaust. Primary sources are things like letters, images, diaries, and other documents created during that period of history, or soon after by people who were there.

World History in Context

Revisit this EPIC resource for primary source material.

  • Choose the link Browse Topics.
  • Select 'Holocaust' from the alphabetical list.
  • Go to Primary Sources.

The National Archives

This website has information on history topics that involved Britain, including Britain's response to the Holocaust.

  1. Choose Education from the homepage.
  2. Select the Themed collections link under For Teachers.
  3. Look down the page for the classroom resource The Holocaust.
  4. See original documents and their transcripts.
Tips: We like sites that are from government or other reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can sometimes tell these sites by their web address – they might have .gov or .edu in their address – or by looking at their About us or Contact pages.

Survivor stories

In the years following the Holocaust many survivors have written about, or had their experiences recorded as oral histories. You can read and listen to some of those stories on the websites below.

Holocaust Centre of New Zealand

The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is New Zealand's national Holocaust education and remembrance centre. It includes stories of survivors who came to New Zealand as well as some international survivors.

British Library Learning

This website has online resources for school students on lots of different topics including the Holocaust. The British Library has collected oral histories from Jewish men and Jewish women who survived the Holocaust and came to live in Britain.

  • Look down the page for the heading History.
  • Choose Voices of the Holocaust.
  • Select Survivor testimonies.

Books

There have been many books written about the Holocaust, both fiction and non fiction. Here are some suggested titles:

The Holocaust : a new history by Laurence Rees.

Women's experiences in the Holocaust in their own words : in their own words by Agnes Grunwald-Spier.

Why? : explaining the Holocaust by Peter Hayes.

History flows through us : Germany, the Holocaust, and the importance of empathy by Roger Frie.

Mapping the bones by Jane Yolen.

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