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An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-43 (1981)

by Etty Hillesum

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8181027,477 (4.07)56
This inspiring book contains the diaries & letters of a Jewish woman who died in her mid-20s in the Holocaust.

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English (5)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 5 of 5
  PlayerTwo | Apr 20, 2024 |
NO OF PAGES: 226 SUB CAT I: Holocaust SUB CAT II: SUB CAT III: DESCRIPTION: This diary sets out the story of a twenty-seven-year-old woman from Amsterdam. They cover the years 1941 and 1942, years of war and oppression for Holland, but for Etty a time of personal growth and, paradoxically enough, of personal liberation.NOTES: SUBTITLE: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941 - 1943
  BeitHallel | Feb 18, 2011 |
NO OF PAGES: 287 SUB CAT I: Holocaust SUB CAT II: SUB CAT III: DESCRIPTION: Etty Hillesum was born in Middleburgh on 15 January 1914. She died in Auschwitz on 30 November 1943. As the dark night of Nazism descended upon Europe, she kept this extraordinary moving diary. It bears witness to Etty Hillesum's faith in life.NOTES: SUBTITLE: Etty Hillesum - Born 1914 Died Auschwitz 1943
  BeitHallel | Feb 18, 2011 |
Breaks my heart every time I read it. ( )
  madamepince | Jan 29, 2011 |
"Unless every smallest detail in your daily life is in harmony with the high ideals you profess, then those ideals have no meaning."

Etty was a Jew living in Holland during the time of the Holocaust. She starts writing as a way to explore and document her inner life after she begins seeing a therapist (who later becomes her lover and has a physical relationship with her from day one as part of the "therapy" -- yeah, you can probably guess what I think of HIS ethics . . .). At any rate, whenever I read journals like this I'm astounded at the writers' ability to write so much and so clearly about their lives. I feel like I was reading this journal at just the right time and I saw a lot of myself in Etty, although I think that when you strip anyone down to her most personal self, we all are able to relate. Because this book was about Etty's exploration of her own heart and soul, and as the book wore on, her relationship with God, you didn't have to worry too much about keeping characters straight because they seemed incidental on Etty's personal journey. About halfway through the book, the tone of the book changes really drastically as Etty begins to fear for the situation of Jews. Her change in consciousness happens so quickly that if this would have been fiction, I would have found the leap from "safety to danger" a bit unbelievable and asked for more buildup. But I think Etty was a person who just didn't bother with politics, and so when the politics DID start affecting her and those she loved personally, it did feel very abrupt, even though a different journaler may have been chronicling such things all along.

While there were many aspects of Etty's character I related to, there are also parts of her character I couldnt' relate to at all--I guess because I've never been faced with something like she's faced. In Anne Frank's diary, I could imagine the fear the Franks must've felt every time they thought someone would discover them. Etty waits out in the open and does not try to escape being shipped to the camps--in fact, when she gets a pardon, she refuses to take it because she feels it's "unjust" for her not to suffer the way the rest of her people are suffering. Although, now that I think of it, I may have come to a similar conclusion if I knew that all those I loved would also be going . . . who can say how we'd react when faced with something like that. Hopefully we'll never know.

The entire journal is written outside of the camps, but at the end of the journal there's an appendix with letters that Etty wrote from within Westerbork, a "final stop" on the way to Auschwitz. This was the most haunting part of the book, because after getting to know Etty through her journal, now you see her as a real person and she writes about the people around her in the camp as real as well. It was a chance to see that part of history--inside the camps--in a way that I've never experienced before and probably never will again. No fiction or movie can capture all the little nuances--the inmates who stayed cheerful till the end up against those w ho broke down immediately, the clothes, the cots, the people who went around "caring" for the Jews, the rapport (!?) they had with the German soldiers . . . it would feel contrived anywhere else, which is why I'm thankful I got to see it through a real person's eyes. ( )
2 vote sedeara | Jun 28, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Etty Hillesumprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gaarlandt, J.G.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pomerans, ArnoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Acht dichtbeschreven cahiers in een klein, moeilijk leesbaar handschrift, zó trof ik aan wat me daarna vrijwel onafgebroken bezighield: het leven van Etty Hillesum.
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This inspiring book contains the diaries & letters of a Jewish woman who died in her mid-20s in the Holocaust.

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Book description
Etty Hillesum werd geboren in een joods-Nederlandse familie en kreeg bekendheid door de publicatie van haar dagboek, 38 jaar nadat zij in Auschwitz werd vermoord. In haar dagboek verwoordde ze haar persoonlijke, innerlijke ontwikkeling temidden van de turbulentie van de Tweede Wereldoorlog en de absurditeiten van de holocaust. Het boek is niet alleen een sterk persoonlijk document, maar geeft ook enig inzicht in de wijze waarop de anti-Joodse maatregelen en deportaties in die jaren op Joden zelf is overgekomen. Etty’s dagboeken werden uitgegeven onder de titel Het verstoorde leven - Dagboek van Etty Hillesum. Het dagboek begint op 9 maart 1941 en eindigt met het bericht van een vriend over haar deportatie naar Auschwitz op 6 september 1943.
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