As I finished yet another holocaust novel, I couldn’t help but wonder if we have reached a point where everything that has been written about the holocaust has already been written. Did I mention the book I had just read? Yes: The Tatooist of Aushwitz was a touching story that had me captured until the very end but I couldn’t help but feel that everything written in this book I’ve heard before. Maybe I’ve become desensitized to the subject. After all I’ve been reading books like these since I was in the third grade. These stories are my people’s history and it’s important not to forget the atrocities that were committed. I have read countless of books that feature Jewish people during the Holocaust but I struggle to come up with titles that feature Jewish characters that don’t live during The Holocaust. yes we sufferred and that’s a huge part of our culture but there’s so much that so few people know about. Jews are so much more than victims of the Holocaust. We have a rich culture filled with beautiful traditions and I just wish that literature would portray that more. I want to see the secular Jews! And the religious ones! And everyone in between!
So should authors stop writing Holocaust Fiction? Honestly I don’t know. I think they’re super important in reminding the Goyem about the atrocities that were inflicted on the Jews. I personally really like them even if I do oftetimes feel like they’re formulaic and blend together. It especially rubs me the wrong way when non-jews write about it. I know that they probably don’t intend it that way but it sometimes reads to me as profitting off of the suffering of Jewish people. I think that there’s some really interesting things that could still be done with jews during the Second World War. This is really evident with Katherine Locke’s The Spy With The Red Balloon. This beauty of a book features two Queer Jewish siblings who kick nazi ass and are just so amazing and it’s set during WW2 and it’s just so great. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for #ownvoices World War 2 fiction.
Another thing that angers me about Holocaust fiction and World War 2 fiction in general is the trope of people falling in love with “good” Nazis. There’s no such as a good nazi, they’re all trash and for anybody to make them anything less than that is disgusting. Why do people feel the need to find the good in someone who is not good at all.
So really I think that it depends on who writes it but all in all I’m not tired of Holocaust Fiction per say but more the fact that it’s the only rep that Jews get. Give me fantasy with jews in them. Some historical fiction that isn’t set during ww2 that finish jewish characters. Then maybe I won’t mind so much.
What Do You Think? Are You Tired of Holocaust Fiction? What’s Your Favorite Non-Holocaust Book That Features Jewish people?