Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shoah: The Complete Text Of The Acclaimed Holocaust Film” as Want to Read:
Shoah: The Complete Text Of The Acclaimed Holocaust Film
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shoah: The Complete Text Of The Acclaimed Holocaust Film

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  266 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
A nine-and-a-half-hour documentary on the Nazi extermination camps, Shoah (the Hebrew word for "Holocaust") was internationally hailed as a masterpiece upon its release in 1985. Shunning any re-creation, archival footage, or visual documentation of the events, filmmaker Claude Lanzmann relied on the words of witnesses—Jewish, Polish, and German—to describe in ruthless deta ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published August 22nd 1995 by Da Capo Press (first published June 12th 1985)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shoah, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shoah

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: olocausto
Film documentario di oltre 6 ore sugli orrori della Shoah, gli orrori veri. Dimenticate film basati su storie immaginate seppur plausibili, dimenticate l'immaginabile. "Shoah" di Lanzmann è storia, è realtà, cercata, vissuta, testata su campo. In un vero e proprio viaggio-orrore Lanzmann si è recato sui luoghi, tanti dei luoghi, che sono stati teatro dei crimini della Shoah perpetrati durante la seconda guerra mondiale, campi di concentramento e sterminio, città, locali, stazioni, e ha interroga ...more
Paula Hartman-Carlo
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holocaust
Although I've seen the film a few times, I'm glad to have read the complete text. Watching the film and seeing the survivors and the perpertrators speak to the director about what they witnessed gives the viewer one type of experience. Having the words right there in front of you gives you another. You read the lines over and over again because you can't believe what you just read. A line that I will never forget comes from Itzhak Zuckerman, second-in-command of the Jewish Combat Organization, a ...more
Eva Leger
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it
I'm still trying to figure out how a 9+ hour movie translates into a -200 page book with double and sometimes triple spacing, not to mention a few photos. I don't normally read texts of films though so maybe there's something I don't know.
I borrowed this from my library because everywhere I looked the DVD cost hundreds of dollars. My library didn't have it, my DVD swapping site didn't have it, NetFlix didn't have it, I started to think I'd never see it. Then I had the bright idea to check eBay.
Lisa Olson
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This text is quite good but I look forward to seeing the movie as I think it would give a fuller image than just the transcripts. I also found a quote from a reputable source mentioning that "readers should be forewarned that Lanzmann disavows the English transcript, which is plagued by inaccuracies and which differs substantially in form from the French text prepared by Lanzmann himself," so I'm not sure what to make of that. Perhaps it explains how the book managed to be so short compared to t ...more
John Stanks
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow...its a very haunting reading about their experiences they went through the holocaust.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a text of the movie which I have not yet seen. It is shocking, horrific, and inhuman at times. It is hard to believe the nazis who were interviewed could take such a blase attitude about murder and death. I guess after seeing it day in and day out, one becomes immune. How people could do this to others simply because they were different than you is, unfortunately, something that our current president ran his campaign on and won. Be afraid, be very afraid.
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven't seen the docu (yet) but just reading what is told, is so so impressive! I just have no words for it, only respectfull silence
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Number 6 on my list is this little book, which I read not knowing that it was a movie script and I am embarrassed to admit that I have never seen the movie. Shoah is Hebrew for holocaust and this tightly written work compacts the enormity of the Nazi genocide campaign against the Jews of Europe into an impactful overview. The inhumanity and the banality of the destruction of innocent people staggered me when I read the story. It convinced me that evil, evil by human choice, lurks around us alway ...more
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: film, testimonianze
"Nel 1942, quando cominciarono i primi rastrellamenti a danno degli ebrei, e soprattutto dopo il novembre del '42, quando i tedeschi occuparono il Sud, mio padre ci addesrtrava di notte: dovevamo spogliarci disponendo i vestiti nell'ordine giusto per rivestirci, tutte le porte venivano maniacalmente oliate, era una casa ossessionata dal silenzio. In fondo al giardino, aveva scavato una specie di nascondiglio e suonava alla porta alle quattro del mattino, come la Gestapo. Noi ci vestivamo a tempo ...more
Mar 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
a difficult movie and text, but one that is necessary to confront, especially because it is too easy with the access of media and information to become oversaturated with images, rather than the 'meaning', of trauma. hiroshima. rwanda. bergen-belsen.

Lanzman resists the expected telling of the Holocaust story; focusing not as much on the typically "dramatic" and "emotional", which he eschews for a more analytical, methodical unfolding of history.

It is disturbing in its straightforwardness.

Gia Kokotakis
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recently-read
This book was amazing. I have never seen the movie, but I imagine it couldn't have been anymore intriguing than this. The horrible stories of the ruthless Nazis coming directly from survivors was something I cannot explain. I began to tear up as I turned page after page, wanting to stop but knowing I couldn't. This book will take you places you thought you could never go, show you people you thought you could never see, and push you to comprehend things you thought humans were not capable of com ...more
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very powerful read. I'm looking forward to seeing the film, as I'm sure that the impact of the visual documentation along with these written recollections will stay with Me longer than just reading the text. I'm almost certain that, had I seen the film prior to reading this, I would have been compelled to give this book five stars. As a 'stand alone', it's very moving. I imagine the film to add another layer to this disturbing piece of history.
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Though I would have liked a little more background information included, I understand this is a movie transcript, so some of what was shown in the film may not translate to the page. I very much liked how the interviews documented here were not just from people who were in or at the well-known concentration camps, but also from the lesser publicized, but equally tragic, camps, such as Chelmno and Treblinka.
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book years before I was able to see the movie, even then it is a powerful experience to read. But I recommend the at times shattering experience of seeing these words spoken. The book is a useful companion nonetheless, sometimes it is easier to read the translation than to watch subtitles, but be aware it is a translation and sometimes misses the full sense of the several languages the movie is spoken in. Nevertheless, an essential book.
As the movie is nine hours long and my local library and DVD rental place didn't have it, I thought I'd read just the text instead. Unfortunately it didn't have as much as an impact on me as I had hoped it would. I think seeing the movie, the people's faces, how they talked, would be better. Very few movies are a good substitute for the novel they're based off of; this book doesn't seem to be an adequate substitute for the movie it came from.
J.W. Dionysius Nicolello
I don't know what I was thinking getting into a slim transcription of a ten-hour long film, but on my quest to devour all the Criterion cannon in my lifetime, I'm finishing up watching Shoah and thought this book would be good company for reasons I can't clearly comprehend at the moment. The reading has been slow-going, more in documentary/movie mode. Also seemingly fixed on beyond-depressing subject matter.

The Force of July, Armorica.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holocaust
If you haven't seen the 9 or 11 hour film of The Shoah, this book contains the dialogue. Valuable if you missed a word here and there in the video but the film has much more of an impact showing the actual trains and engineers that took the Jews to the camps. Neighbors who witnessed the round-ups also appear on camera and share their memories. Unbelievable. You must see the videos!
Mike Spinak
May 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I've seen the movie and I've read the book. Both are disturbing, quietly powerful, and enlightening about things it's painful to know. Shoah leaves a lot open for you to read into it and make of it what you will.

The movie comes across as much more powerful, but the book is handy for reference.
Martin Kadlec
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Repeat these stories to new generations. It happened. Farther it will be, it is less and less understandable. Never forget otherwise it can happen again sooner or later.
Terence Manleigh
The transcript from Lanzmann's monumental documentary about the Holocaust. Devastating in its own right.
Apr 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I've not yet been able to bring myself to watch the series, but the book was astounding.
Mar 22, 2011 rated it liked it
I had to read this for school. If you are not interested in the Holocaust and you don't like to hear about what happened then this book is not for you. It can be very graphic.
Roma Levy
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must read
Haven't seen the movie. Book is rather shocking, distrubing, and engrossing.
Michael Lewyn
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gives both victims' and perpetrators' perspectives.
The subject matter is so horrific that I won't attempt to rate it. This is not a book one reads for pleasure.
Carlo Mayer
Da consultazione
Apr 04, 2011 added it
It's kind of short to be the transcript of a 9 hour movie.
Khalid Muhammad
rated it it was amazing
Oct 20, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Sep 21, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Children of the Holocaust: Conversations with Sons and Daughters of Survivors
  • From the Ashes of Sobibor: A Story of Survival
  • Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust
  • The Destruction of the European Jews
  • The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them
  • The Eichmann Trial
  • My Holocaust: A Novel
  • Long Walk to Freedom (Volume 2: 1962 - 1994)
  • Smoke Over Birkenau
  • Return to Auschwitz
  • The Reawakening
  • The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945 (Studies in Jewish History)
  • A History of the Holocaust
  • The Way of Man
  • And the Rat Laughed
  • Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp
  • This Is Berlin: Reporting from Nazi Germany 1938-40
  • Anus Mundi
Claude Lanzmann is a French filmmaker and professor at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He was the brother of writer Jacques Lanzmann.
More about Claude Lanzmann

Nonfiction Deals

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    $10.74 $1.99
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    $13.95 $1.99
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    $11.74 $2.99
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'm Just a Person
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
    $27.99 $4.99
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Murphy's Boy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
    $12.99 $1.99
  • My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Essential Rumi
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    $10.74 $2.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
    $8.24 $1.99
  • How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (A Harvest Book)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
    $6.99 $2.99
  • No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
    $10.49 $2.99
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Castles of Steel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir
    $9.99 $2.99
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
    $14.99 $1.99