Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Ask us!

World Civilization II - HIST102 - Primary Sources

Primary sources available in the library or on the Internet relevant to World Civilizations from about 1500 to the present.

Resources in Library Catalog

eBooks on this list are only available to RVCC students, faculty, and staff and require a login with your G# and password.

World War II

Agents for escape : inside the French Resistance, 1939-1945

Andre Rougeyron's chronicle of the years spent rescuing downed Allied airmen in France and consequently enduring German labor camps remains focused throughout on others. A myriad of individuals - both named and unnamed - and their sufferings and triumphs small and large suffuse his story.

Anne Frank : the diary of a young girl

In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during the two years her family was in hiding. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Anne Frank remembered : the story of the woman who helped to hide the Frank family

The reminiscences of Miep Gies, the woman who hid the Frank family in Amsterdam during the Second World War, presents a vivid story of life under Nazi occupation.

Backing Hitler : consent and coercion in Nazi Germany

Using primary evidence, the author reveals the social consensus behind the Nazi regime and persecution of racial minorities & social outsiders. Debate still rages over how much ordinary Germans knew about the concentration camps and the Gestapo's activities during Hitler's reign. Now, in this well-documented and provocative volume, historian Robert Gellately argues that the majority of German citizens had quite a clear picture of the extent of Nazi atrocities, and continued to support the Reich to the bitter end.

Courageous teen resisters : primary sources from the Holocaust

Examines the stories of children and teen resisters in Europe during the Holocaust, including resistance groups, unarmed resistance, armed resistance in the ghettos and camps, and partisan units.

Crowns, crosses, and stars : my youth in Prussia, surviving Hitler, and a life beyond

This is the story of a remarkable life and a journey, from the privileged world of Prussian aristocracy, through the horrors of World War II, to high society in the television age of postwar America. It is also an account of a spiritual voyage, from a conventional Christian upbringing, through marriage to Pastor Martin Niemoeller, to conversion to Judaism (eBook).

The desperate diplomat : Saburo Kurusu's memoir of the weeks before Pearl Harbor

Kurusu published his personal memoir in 1952, in Japanese, describing his efforts to prevent war between the United States and Japan, his total lack of knowledge regarding the Pearl Habor attack, and what "might have been" had he been successful in his endeavor for peace, while offering an exclusive perspective on the Japanese reaction to the attack. With the discovery of Kurusu's own unpublished English memoir, his story can finally be told to a wider audience.

Documents on the Holocaust : selected sources on the destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union

These 213 documents on the theory, planning, and execution of, and reaction and resistance to, the Nazi plan to exterminate European Jews date from the 1920's through the closing days of World War II and focus on the experience of eastern Europe.

The fragility of goodness : why Bulgaria's Jews survived the Holocaust : a collection of texts with commentary

Tzvetan Todorov assembles and interprets for the first time key evidence from this episode of Bulgarian history, including letters, diaries, government reports, and memoirs--most never before translated into any language. Through these documents, he reconstructs what happened in Bulgaria during World War II and interrogates collective memories of that time. He recounts the actions of individuals and groups that, ultimately and collectively, spared Bulgaria's Jews the fate of most European Jews.

Frauen : German women recall the Third Reich

Alison Owings interviewed and here records the words of twenty-nine German women who were there: Working for the Resistance. Joining the Nazi Party. Outsmarting the Gestapo. Disliking a Jewish neighbor. Hiding a Jewish friend. Witnessing "Kristallnacht." Witnessing the firebombing of Dresden. Shooting at Allied planes. Welcoming Allied troops. Being a prisoner. And being a guard.

From day to day : one man's diary of survival in Nazi concentration camps

From Day to Day, a World War II concentration camp diary, one of the very few to survive, records the author's struggle, not only to survive, but to maintain his humanity, amidst the casual brutality and random terror that was the fate of a camp prisoner.

From racism to genocide : anthropology in the Third Reich

Using original sources and previously unpublished documentation, Gretchen E. Schafft shows the total range of anti-human activity from within the confines anthropology. The work includes many original photos and documents, most of which have never before been published. It uses primary data and original texts whenever possible, including correspondence written by perpetrators.

From a world apart : a little girl in the concentration camps

Christophe and her mother were caught while trying to flee France and spent years in French camps before being deported to Bergen-Belsen in 1944 (eBook)

Haven : the dramatic story of 1,000 World War II refugees and how they came to America

Ruth Gruber, special assistant to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, tells about her experiences carrying out a mission to bring one thousand Jewish and Christian refugees from Italy in 1944, and discusses her efforts on their behalf once they arrived in America.

Hell before their very eyes : American soldiers liberate concentration camps in Germany, April 1945

Drawing on a blend of archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts--including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters, and published recollections--Hell Before Their Very Eyes focuses on the experiences of the soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau and their determination to bear witness to this horrific history.

The Hitler book : the secret dossier prepared for Stalin from the interrogations of Otto Guensche and Heinze Linge, Hitler's closest personal aides

For months two captives of the Soviet Army--Otto Guensche, Hitler's adjutant, and Heinz Linge, his personal valet--were interrogated daily, their stories crosschecked, to get the fullest possible account of the life of the Führer. In 1949 they presented their work, in a single copy, to Stalin. Available to the public in full for the first time, The Hitler Book presents a deeply revealing portrait of Hitler, Stalin, and the mutual antagonism of these two dictators (eBook).

The Holocaust years : the Nazi destruction of European Jewry, 1933-1945

Covered here are the events involved in the preparation and implementation of the planned annihilation of Europe's Jews by the Nazis. Part I is a compact history of preparatory steps leading to the decision to destroy the Jews. Part II includes 100 readings that document and elucidate these events and include first-hand testimony, official Nazi and Allied documents, eyewitness accounts, and diary and memoir excerpts.

Kamikaze : a Japanese pilot's own spectacular story of the famous suicide squadrons

Originally published in 1957, this enduring classic remains a touching and insightful look into the world of the kamikaze. From the age of 15, Yasuo Kuwahara began a life of military service that included suffering through brutal basic training, participating in ferocious aerial combat against the Allies, and avoiding a suicide mission when an atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, near his hometown (eBook).

The illusion of safety : the story of the Greek Jews during World War II

The book contains Michael Matsas's personal record of his one teenage year with villagers of Psilovrahos during the second world war, and a young boy's experience with the Andartes who fought their nation's enemies.

Liberation : stories of survival from the Holocaust

Discusses the liberation of Europe and the aftermath of the Holocaust, including the displaced persons camps, primary source accounts from Holocaust survivors, and how those survivors started new lives in new countries.

Lives lived and lost : East European history before, during, and after World War II as experienced by an anthropologist and her mother

This book narrates a mother's and daughter's separate perspectives of their experiences before, during, and after World War II (eBook).

The long road home : the aftermath of the Second World War

Including new documentation in the form of journals, oral histories, and essays by actual Displaced Persons unearthed during his research for this illuminating and radical reassessment of history, the author brings to light the extraordinary stories and myriad versions of the war experienced by the refugees and the new United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration that would undertake the responsibility of binding the wounds of an entire continent.

The night of broken glass : eyewitness accounts of Kristallnacht

These eyewitness testimonies - published here for the first time, with a foreword by Saul Friedländer, the Pulitzer Prize historian and Holocaust survivor - paint a harrowing picture of everyday violence in one of Europe's darkest moments.

The other victims : first-person stories of non-Jews persecuted by the Nazis

Personal narratives of Christians, Gypsies, deaf people, homosexuals, and blacks who suffered at the hands of the Nazis before and during World War II.

Political reorientation of Japan, September 1945 to September 1948; report of Government Section, Supreme Commander for Allied Powers

Volume 1 of this set contains a report on Japan's political reorientation during the three years it was occupied by Allied forces following World War II, while volume 2 contains documents referred to in the report, such as letters, memorandums, acts, laws, declarations, and the Meiji Constitution.

Queen City refuge : an oral history of Cincinnati's Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany

Oral histories of persecution and refuge as told by 27 of Cincinnati's Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany.

Remember for life : Holocaust survivors' stories of faith and hope

These seventy-one firsthand stories from survivors of the Holocaust teach us to choose to remember for life, for their words are not about hatred and death but about ethics, decency, and love. Although the stories are arranged to accompany the weekly Torah readings and many of the Jewish holidays, they are just as meaningful when read on their own, in any sequence (eBook).

Soldaten : on fighting, killing, and dying : the secret World War II transcripts of German POWs

Though initially recorded by British intelligence with the intention of gaining information that might be useful for the Allied war effort, the matters discussed in these conversations ultimately proved to be limited in that regard. But they would supply a unique and profoundly important window into the mentality of the soldiers in the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe, the German navy, and the military in general, almost all of whom had insisted on their own honorable behavior during the war.

Theatrical performance during the Holocaust : texts, documents, memoirs

How could Jews have created art and attended performances in the midst of the unspeakable adversity of the Holocaust? This volume collects critical essays, memoirs and primary source materials relating to the history of Jewish drama, cabaret, music and opera under the Third Reich.

Witness to the Holocaust

This book is an illustrated documentary history of the Nazis' largely successful effort to eradicate the Jews and other 'undesirables' of Europe, told in the words of its victims, perpetrators, and bystanders.

A writer at war : Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941-1945

A special correspondent for The Red Star, the Red Army's newspaper, documents the savage battles of World War II, the siege of Stalingrad, the great tank battle of Kursk, the defense of Moscow, and early revelations about the Holocaust.

Other conflicts (World War I, Cold War, Middle East, Africa)

African women writing resistance : an anthology of contemporary voices

The anthology brings together personal narratives, testimony, interviews, short stories, poetry, performance scripts, folktales, and lyrics. Thematically organized, it presents women's writing on such issues as intertribal and interethnic conflicts, the degradation of the environment, polygamy, domestic abuse, the controversial traditional practice of female genital cutting, Sharia law, intergenerational tensions, and emigration and exile.

Against revisionism, in defence of Marxism

Translations taken from the English edition of the collected works of V. I. Lenin, this book includes his writings on topics related to Marxism and Socialism.

The Bay of Pigs: The leaders' story of Brigade 2506

The shocking nationwide bestseller that tells the inside, never-before-told, completely documented account of the Cuban invasion, including the controversial indictment of the C.I.A.

Beyond the Mountains of the Damned : the war inside Kosovo

Reporters weren't allowed into Kosovo during the war without the permission of the Yugoslavian government but Matthew McAllester went anyway. In Beyond the Mountains of the Damned he tells the story of Pec, Kosovo's most destroyed city and the site of the earliest and worst atrocities of the war, through the lives of two men--one Serb and one Kosovar (eBook).

Conversations with myself

Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has opened his personal archive, which offers an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life and offers a unique access to the private world of an incomparable world leader. Journals, notebooks, diaries, private recorded conversations, speeches, and correspondence are brought together in this narrative.

Cuban missile crisis : the essential reference guide

This book captures the historical context, the minute-by-minute drama, and the profound repercussions of the "Missiles of October" confrontation that brought the very real threat of nuclear attack to the United States' doorstep (eBook).

Embedded : a Marine Corps adviser inside the Iraqi army

In 2006, 1st Lt. Wesley Gray was deployed as a U.S. Marine Corps military adviser to an Iraqi Army battalion in the Haditha Triad. He offers a comprehensive portrait of the struggles of the Iraqi people to make their country a nation once again and includes a compelling report on the status and prospects of the U.S. government's strategy for success in Iraq (eBook).

International communism in the era of Lenin; a documentary history

A collection of vital documents from the early years of the Communist movement, including doctrinal statements, manifestos, analyses, and tactical decisions. Primary source documents by Lenin and others are supplemented by the author's commentary.

Israel and the European Union : a documentary history

Israel's relations with the European Union stretch back to the early days of the European Community and the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. traces the history of these complex relations by bringing together over two hundred documents in one volume. The documents contained in this book are divided into five time periods: i) 1957–1966, Israel Looks to Europe; ii) 1967–1979, Between War and Peace; iii) 1980–1991, From Venice to Madrid; iv) 1992–2003, From Oslo to Barcelona; and v) 2004–2011, A Renaissance Cut Short? (eBook).

A long way gone : memoirs of a boy soldier

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. Ishmael Beah, now 25 years old, tells how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.

Nights in the Pink Motel : an American Strategist''s Pursuit of Peace in Iraq

Nights in the Pink Motel is a graphic, first-person account of the political, military, and human efforts to dispel the fog of 21st century warfare. It is the first historical account of the strategic process that sought to reverse the negative consequences of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq (eBook).

No one can stop the rain : a chronicle of two foreign aid workers during the Angolan Civil War

Set in central Angola during the final stages of the country's thirty-year civil war, No One Can Stop the Rain is the true story of two ordinary Médecins Sans Frontières volunteers — a surgeon and his wife, leaving behind their comfortable lives in mid-career. Based on correspondence and diary entries, the book chronicles the couple's journey to Kuito, deep in the heart of Angola (eBook).

Phantom Africa

In 1930, Michel Leiris was an aspiring poet drifting away from the orbit of the Surrealist movement in Paris when the anthropologist Marcel Griaule invited him to serve as the "secretary-archivist" for the Mission Dakar-Djibouti, a major collecting and ethnographic journey that traversed the African continent between May 1931 and February 1933. Upon returning to France, rather than compiling a more conventional report or ethnographic study, Leiris decided simply to publish his diary, almost entirely untouched aside from minor corrections and a smattering of footnotes.

Problems of peace, second series; lectures delivered at the Geneva Institute of International Relations, August 1927

Included in this volume are essays on the League of Nations, international law, economic policy, disarmament, world health, and nationalism.

Problems of peace, third series; lectures delivered at the Geneva Institute of International Relations, August 1928

Included in this volume are essays on the League of Nations, disarmament, the World Economic Conference, the Mandates System, the protection of minorities, and international law.

Reaching past the wire : a nurse at Abu Ghraib

Lt. Col. Germain offers an account of life as a nursing supervisor behind the fortified gates of Abu Ghraib. Her duty: To treat Iraqi prisoners in need of medical attention. Despite unbearable heat, frequent mortar attacks, medical supply shortages, substandard facilities, the relentless stench of war, sleepless nights quartered in a tiny prison cell, and constant reminders that all detainees were to be considered dangerous, Germain served the medical needs of each of her patients diligently.

The Saddam tapes : the inner workings of a tyrant's regime, 1978-2001

During the 2003 war that ended Saddam Hussein's regime, coalition forces captured thousands of hours of secret recordings of meetings, phone calls, and conferences. Originally prepared by the Institute for Defense Analyses for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, this study presents annotated transcripts of Iraqi audio recordings of meetings between Saddam Hussein and his inner circle (eBook).

The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis : Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the missiles of November

Based on secret transcripts of top-level diplomacy undertaken by the number-two Soviet leader, Anastas Mikoyan, to settle the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, this book rewrites conventional history. 300 pages of documents include: telegrams, memoranda of conversations, instructions to diplomats, etc.

Voices from Iraq : a people's history, 2003-2009

Featuring the testimony of close to seventy Iraqis from all walks of life, Voices from Iraq builds a riveting chronological history unmatched for its insight and revelations. Here is a history of the war in Iraq as told entirely by Iraqis living through the U.S. invasion and occupation. Beginning in 2003, this intimate narrative includes the experiential accounts of civilians, politicians, former dissidents, insurgents, and militiamen (eBook).

We Cannot Forget : Interviews with Survivors of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

During a one-hundred-day period in 1994, Hutus murdered between half a million and a million Tutsi in Rwanda. The numbers are staggering; the methods of killing were unspeakable. Utilizing personal interviews with trauma survivors living in Rwandan cities, towns, and dusty villages, We Cannot Forget relates what happened during this period and what their lives were like both prior to and following the genocide (eBook).

The World War I reader : [primary and secondary sources]

With this reader of primary and secondary documents, edited and compiled by Michael S. Neiberg, students, scholars, and war buffs can gain an extensive yet accessible understanding of this conflict. Neiberg, a leading historian of World War I, has selected a wide array of primary documents, ranging from government papers to personal diaries (eBook).

World War I and the age of modern warfare

Provides a comprehensive account of the alliances and tensions that triggered the Great War; details the horrors of trench warfare and the new weapons used in the conflict; provides an overview of the war's key offensives; and explains the legacy of the war. Includes biographies, primary sources, and more. Be sure to select the Primary Sources section (eBook).

The World War I diary of José de la Luz Sáenz

José de la Luz Sáenz served in France and Germany in 1918. Published in Spanish in 1933, his annotated book of diary entries and letters recounts not only his own war experiences but also those of his fellow Mexican Americans (eBook).

Resources in Library Databases

Off campus, these resources are available only to RVCC students, staff, and faculty and require a login with your G# and password.

Perform a keyword search, then select Primary Sources from the tabbed results.

Primary sources

To browse, select Primary Sources and then A Half Century of Crisis: 1900-1945 or Promises and Paradoxes: 1945-Present.

Primary Sources       20th & 21st century

Resources on the Internet