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Books about Germany and Poland

Some of our favorite books about Poland and Germany

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The following are books we have in our library at home and can thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in learning more about the history of Prussia, Germany and Poland; the third reich period in Germany; the second world war and the expulsion of the German population from Poland in 1945 and 1946; and genealogy and ancestry research. We've also included in our list of good reads and reference works, a few useful guides to the German and Polish languages; and good tourist guides to present day Poland.

 

 Books about German and Polish Genealogy / Roots / Ancestry Research

 

1

Polish Roots - an excellent book for anyone who is attempting to find their Polish ancestors here in in Poland or abroad. This books shows the reader how to find and use church and civil records; how and where to locate research services, libraries, and archives; how to make sense of Polish names and the naming practices of the major ethnic groups; and how best to deal with the wonderful Polish language. A highly recommended resource for amateur and professional genealogists interested in Poland.

 

2

A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Germanic Ancestors: How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage - this book covers the basics of genealogy, clearly explaining how to plan, organize and begin searching. An essential purchase for the German genealogist.

 

3

Jewish Roots in Poland - a great guide, which is full of invaluable information for both the hard-core researcher and anyone who wants to discover Jewish roots.

 

4

Finding Your German Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide - a compact beginner's guide to German ancestral research.

 

5

In Search of Your German Roots. The Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in the Germanic Areas of Europe - a brief history of Germany and a good introduction to Genealogy. Perhaps not absolutely "complete" but a good genealogy buy.

 

6

A Student's Guide to Polish American Genealogy - a simple book which seeks to teach readers how to collect basic data, obtain and evaluate documents and sources, use the latest electronic tools for researching, and conduct and record eyewitness accounts of historical events in family life.

The History of Prussia, Germany and Poland  

 

7

A Concise History of Poland : a well written general introduction to the history of Poland written by two Polish writers based in Great Britain.

 

8

The Vanished Kingdom : Travels Through the History of Prussia - a fascinating, if a little dated, look at the history and possible future of Prussia with maps, historical and contemporary photographs. Although the book focuses on East Prussia there is lots of content for anyone interested in the former German territories now part of either Poland or Russia.

 

9

A Social History of Germany: 1648-1914 - a great book about the history of Germany from a different angle. One of our favourite books!

 

10

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - the classic work on Nazi Germany and how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering Europe.

 

11

God's Playground  -  a comprehensive book on the history of Poland. Written by a non Polish writer from a very Polish point of view! Some may find it a little biased.

 

12

On the Edge of Destruction : Jews of Poland Between the Two World Wars
- a must read for understanding the environment in Poland that led to the Holocaust.

 Books about the second world war and its aftermath - expulsions etc.

 

13

The Fall of Berlin 1945 - the classic account of the final days of the war in Europe by acclaimed British historian Antony Beevor. Not to be missed. Brilliant!

 

14

In My Hands : Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer - a harrowing memoir of a young Polish woman, who finds herself drawn to helping the less fortunate Jews.

 

15

Memories of our Childhood - a moving work about German refugee children in aftermath of the Second World War. Illustrates how starvation, begging and rape, became daily events in the lives of once comfortable middle and working class women and children forced from their homes.

 

16

German Boy - the story of a 10 year old boy, who flees his home in Sagan, Germany (now part of Poland), with his mother and younger sister, escaping just ahead of the Russian army's arrival.

 

17

A Terrible Revenge : The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans - a book which details the long history of the German communities, scattered from the Baltic to the Danude, and, most movingly, reproduces the testimonies of survivors from the catastrophic exodus that marked the final end to Nazi fantasies of Lebensraum. If you have German roots in present day Poland you need to read this book.

 German and Polish Culture, Food / Recipes and Literature

 

18

German Pride: 101 Reasons to Be Proud You're German - a book full of things of interest to people with German roots or who want to learn more about Germany.

 

19

The Best of Polish Cooking - authentic, traditional Polish cuisine in an easy-to-use format. Unlike many other books on the market this book includes recipes which are actually eaten in Poland! We use this book in our own kitchen in Poland.

German and Polish Language Books

 

20

Teach Yourself Polish Complete Course (book + CD pack) - a beginners course in Polish

 

21

In-Flight German : Learn Before You Land - a 60-minute program to learn just enough to get by in most situations.  Just enough information for your genealogy trip to Germany.

 

22

Cambridge Concise Polish-English Dictionary - a 900+ page bilingual Polish - English / English - Polish dictionary. A nice dictionary for most uses.

 

23

The Oxford - Duden German Dictionary: German - English / English - German - the only reference book you need to learn German. This is big and heavy, so it's one for the bookshelf rather than travel. Superb for translating documents and the like!

Tourist Guidebooks for Visitors to Poland

 

24

Insight Guide Poland - a great all in one, highly readable guide to Poland. Includes: history, culture, places to visit, loads of great photographs and heaps more.

 

25

Lonely Planet Guide to Poland - a good guide to Poland with especially detailed sections on absolutely wonderful guide to Warsaw, Krakow, and Auschwitz concentration camp.

 

 

2004 PolishPoland.com