I just reviewed Faith Behind the Fences by Kelly DiSpirito Taylor, a true story of a Dutch-East Indies family’s time in prison camps during World War II. I hadn’t heard a story quite like this one, which dealt with the politics of the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. After the review was published, another Dutch woman contacted me and told me of her incarceration in the same camps. She created her own website recording her story.

Most of the WWII stories I’ve read focus on Nazi Germany and the Jewish Holocaust, but there are so many stories, so many points-of-view, I doubt we’ll ever stop seeing stories that focus on that time in history.

Here are a few of my favorite WWII books:




And some of my favorite WWII movies:




What are some of your favorite WWII books and movies?


  1. BOok thief. Hands down.
    And Sound of music.

    But there is a great book called Exodus about the establishement of the Jewish state in Isreal. It doesn’t take place during WWII but it talks a lot about it and almost everything that happens in Exodus is almost a direct result of the war. I highly recommend it.

  2. Sophie’s Choice, book and movie. (I have only seen the movie)
    The Pianist (movie)
    And the Ken Burn WWII Documentary. It is really long, but delves way beyond the Nazi’s. It takes you all over the world.

    • ali

    • April 4, 2011

    • 5:01 pm

    I used to be fascinated by WWII stories as a kid. But of course I can’t bring to mind any of the books I loved. My memory’s stupid like that. Grr.

  3. I just read Night with my classes and they are always so enthralled by it…so I love it for that purpose…but I do love The Boy in the Stripped PJs. There is something about it…something about the friendship that I love.

  4. I loved THE BOOK THIEF, too, but is it okay for me to admit that I’ve never read NUMBER THE STARS or THE HIDING PLACE? Okay, maybe not. Definitely need to add those to my you-call-yourself-a-writer-and-you-haven’t-read-these-books?! list.

    As for movies, I found The Scarlet and the Black, with Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer, to be both entertaining and enlightening. It told the story of the war from a different viewpoint.

    • Liesl

    • April 4, 2011

    • 11:48 pm

    Thanks for all the recommendations guys! I can add a few of these to my list.

    Rachel I think I like both of those especially because they both use my name! Doesn’t happen often.

    Jess, I keep sitting on the fence about seeing Sophie’s Choice. I know what happens, I just don’t know if I can swallow watching it. My motherhood fears are bad enough.

    Krista- it is okay. Admittedly I haven’t read Number the Stars since I was ten, I just remember really loving it. The Hiding Place is a very powerful and beautiful story though. Definitely read it!

    • Karena

    • April 5, 2011

    • 5:35 pm

    I read “Night” when I was a sophomore in high school and really enjoyed it.

    I watched the movie “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and decided that I better not tackle the book. Being a mom has turned me into sob fest over things like that. But I love the movie “Life is Beautiful”.

  5. LOVE Swing Kids – I used to dance and dance to that album.

    Also, I love Is Paris Burning – I had to read it for my poli sci major, but it was such a cool part of WW II – focusing on the French resistance, mostly in Paris, but in Italy as well. They had some real bits of messages and showed what an elaborate scheme that had so that any one person involved only knew 5-10 other people who were involved. It was awesome, and a story we don’t hear often.

  6. I just started The Book Thief. Loving it so far.

  7. I loved Number the Stars and Swing Kids was my favorite movie when I was 12. The truth is, though, that I haven’t read many WWII books, I’ll have to check out the Book Thief.


  8. Night by Elie Wiesel.

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – the book and the movie.

    The Reader – movie, Kate Winslet was awesome in it.

    The Devil’s Arithmetic – book and movie.

  9. Oh, and Sophie’s Choice was soooo sad, but Meryl Streep was amazing!!!!

  10. I know I’m way late posting, but I wanted to say All Quiet on the Western Front. 🙂

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