Two atlases are available in relation to the Holocaust. Both of these books attempt to recreate the history of the Holocaust through the geography of the countries involved, using maps that show political boundaries, movements of armies, relocations, transports, and other events. An understanding of the Holocaust can be enhanced when the maps contained in these sources are used alongside a scholarly prose history of the Holocaust.

1. The Atlas of the Holocaust published by Pergamon Press in 1988

The Atlas of the Holocaust contains 316 maps that trace the history of the Holocaust from the turn of the century to the present time. According to the author the purpose of the book is to “show, in chronological sequence, the destruction of each of the main Jewish communities of Europe.” (p. 11) Maps also cover sites of resistance, revolt and escape. Although several non-Jewish atrocities are shown and mentioned, the focus of the book is on the history and treatment of the Jews. Each map is accompanied by a half a page or less of text of history and information pertaining to the time period or geographic location represented by the map. Countries covered by the atlas include all of Central and Eastern Europe, Norway, Greece, Sweden, Morocco and Algeria. Maps are sometimes accompanied by photographs. The atlas also contains a bibliography and index.

2. The Atlas of Nazi Germany published by Longman in 1995.

The Atlas of Nazi Germany covers many aspects of the Third Reich, although it’s coverage of the Holocaust is limited to six pages. Heavy use is made of diagrams, charts, tables and photos, as well as of the maps. The book is divided into seven parts: The Weimar Republic and Versailles and the Weimar Republic, Rise of the Nazi Party, Administrative and Political Structure, Society, Population and Economy, Search for Living Space: Third Reich at War, and the War Machine. Each part is filled with maps and other graphic representations as well as a good textual overview of the subjects being covered. The introduction to the book is an overview of and background to the geography of the Third Reich. The Epilogue gives a brief geographic history of events after the fall of the Third Reich. The book is an excellent source of general history on Nazi Germany at the time of the war. It is easy to read and understand. Special features include a bibliography for maps and diagrams, selected bibliography by subject, a glossary and an index.