Encyclopedias cover all aspects of the Holocaust. Coverage ranges from general to specific and from introductory to in-depth. While only one true “encyclopedia” of the Holocaust exists, several other resources fall into this category.
1. The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust edited by Israel Gutman, (Macmillan, 1990)
Edited by Israel Gutman, the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (Macmillan, 1990) is the most recognized reference book on the Holocaust. Four volumes, in traditional encyclopedia style, are entirely dedicated to the Holocaust. According to the editor the “encyclopedia deals in depth with the sources and motivations for all manifestations relating to or forming part of the Holocaust.”
The first volume of the book has a forward with a basic introductory overview of the Holocaust written by Elie Wiesel. The approximately 1000 entries include, but are not limited to names, events, countries, concentration camps, ghettos, murder sites, political movements, and resistance movements. Most entries are followed by a bibliography.
All contributors to the encyclopedia are reputable Holocaust scholars and academics. Entries are written from a multi-disciplinary perspective and in length from a long paragraph to 19 pages.
Special features include a glossary, chronology and six appendices. They are:
- major Jewish organizations in Germany 1893-1943
- Structure of the einsatzgruppen
- Nuremberg Trial results
- Subsequent Nuremberg proceedings
- Subsequent British trial results
- Estimated Jewish losses in the Holocaust
Only the last volume has an index, though the first volume has a table of contents. Although the encyclopedia is easy to read and use and contains no disturbing pictures, it is not recommended for users younger than high school age.
2. The Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual published by Kraus International Publications
Published by Kraus International Publications, the Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual focuses on scholarly study of the Holocaust. It contains articles, reviews and documentation. Articles are written from historical, political, sociological, literary, religious and economic perspectives. Aspects of the Holocaust that are continually covered are:
- Nazi Germany and the Final Solution
- European Jewry during World War II
- Displaced Persons
- Post-War Trials
- Modern anti-Semitism
All articles are signed and include extensive notes. Charts and tables are often included. The reviews, while on one or two specific Holocaust books, are also a general review of that particular type of literature. This resource is geared towards those who have a background in the Holocaust.
3. The Holocaust Studies Annual
The Holocaust Studies Annual isn’t quite annual. Of the four volumes located, each was composed of essays written on a specific subject as follows:
- Volume I: America and the Holocaust
- Volume II: The Churches Response to the Holocaust
- Volume III: Literature, the Arts and the Holocaust
- Volume IV: General essays
All the essays are easy to understand and are written by reputable Holocaust scholars. The first three volumes include a bibliography and an index. The fourth volume lacks both.
4. The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich published by Macmillan, 1991
Macmillan’s 1991 Encyclopedia of the Third Reich is a two-volume set that gives excellent, easy to read and comprehensive information on all aspects of the Third Reich. Small entries on hundreds of topics are supplemented by 26 major articles or overviews. Speacial features include an index and a bibliography divided by subject.
5. Lest We Forget: A History of the Holocaust [CD-ROM] Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996.
Lest We Forget: A History of the Holocaust is an interactive CD-ROM that contains rare archival film footage, historical speeches, 65 detailed biographies, original music, 500 photagraphs with captions and 250 pages of original text. The table of contents provides links to chapters, topics and subtopics. Special features include interactive maps, charts, timelines, glossary and hypertext links. Unfortunately, the CD-ROM is only available by direct purchase.