I don’t know what book was the first to be written about Nazi aggression and the Holocaust. Certainly The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank was one of the first. But I would guess that The Trespassers by Laura Zametkin Hobson, which was published in 1943, was also among the earliest. Considering that it was written in the midst of World War II and the Holocaust, Hobson’s novel is quite remarkable. She captures much of the terror and misery that pervaded Europe during the very end of the 1930’s. She also foreshadows the increasing magnitude of that terror and misery, which the 1940’s would spawn through war and genocide.
The book especially dramatizes the plight of Europe’s innocent refugees in the face of worldwide immigration policies fraught with xenophobia. I have to say that that theme struck a personal chord in me and made me do a little soul-searching, because of my work. Although Hobson’s style may be a bit soapy or schmaltzy, her book is a very moving saga and as timely now as it was then.
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know of any earlier-published books about the Holocaust?
Chuck – With all the Holocaust literature I’ve read in the past few years, I’ve never heard of this book. I doubt if there would be an earlier Holocaust book than 1943. People hardly knew about the Holocaust in 1943. And if it was published in that year, it would have been written even earlier. I would like to read it. If you have the book, may I borrow it? If not, I’ll check amazon.com. Thanks for the tip.
Pat, I have it from the library. It’s due in 10 days and I can probably extend that another 3 weeks. I’ll get it to you by this weekend. Thanks!