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Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork Paperback – November 15, 1996
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From School Library Journal
YA--Hillesum was in her mid-20s at the time of the Holocaust; her diaries consist mainly of musings about the confusion, perplexities, and struggles all around her and mature into a clear philosophy of love of God and all humanity. Her most intimate thoughts are played out at length, but perseverance results in a rewarding view of humanity. The young woman's letters (the second part of the book) reveal a great deal more detail about the day-to-day life at the transit camp of Westerbork (the last stop before Auschwitz). Here, individual people come into view more clearly, and the horrors and atrocities facing the Jews at that time emerge. That Hillesum could rise above hate and generalization in the midst of such horror and evil reveals a tremendous inner strength. Her courage, determination, and faith reveal her amazing spirit. An inspirational reading experience.
Bunni Union, Geauga West Library, Chesterland, OH
Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
A translator who does not understand the message is unable to translate the message. Etty's message is subtle. Her message is about spiritual growth. If the translator is not at the same level of understanding, the translation will be distorted by numerous tiny slightly wrong word choices and word order. If you liked the book in this translation, well, one can only hope that someone will translate it correctly some day. Or if you can read French, try the version "Une vie boulverse" by Philippe Noble, Editions du Seuil.
However, nothing prepared me for just how truly enlightening this book was to be! Etty lived in the same time period and only blocks from where Anne Frank was hiding, and had the advantage of living as a Jewish housekeeper in a non-Jewish household. Indeed she had many advantages that could have, has she pursued it, possibly spared her ultimate end at Auschwitz. However, Etty had some strong feelings, which she mentions more than a couple of times. One is that she did not see why she should be spared what so many thousands of others were having to bear. However she also dearly hoped to live past the end of this terrible era -- and she felt always certain that this dark era would end -- especially so that she would be able to tell the world something so important, and have the world listen. She would tell the world that "life is beautiful, in spite of everything." Though her life was cut off in Auschwitz in November of 1943, the book perhaps can fulfill that dear hope.
No Pollyanna or ostrich, Etty experienced her ups and downs fully. Yet she had a deep understanding of real fulfillment in and gratitude for life. Most importantly, she looked for her answers within, and while the world with out was often atrocious, clearly what she found within was a source of constant beauty and sustenance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fascinating life, I had never heard of Etty until Pope Benedict XVI mentioned her in his last audience talk. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This was an amazing young woman who continues to inspire courage, Love - yes, with a capital L - and self-reflection about how to be in the moment & in touch with the Divine, no... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Shahrazad
I originally bought this in paperback in the mid-80's and it became the inspiration for a musical, fundraising show I produced called 'HEART STRINGS' which ended up making two... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Shep
What an amazing woman! Her perspective on life and God in the midst of a horrendous life situation is truly inspiring. Read morePublished 11 months ago by M. S. Brooks
Surprising insights, much beautiful writing. An unusually fresh, optimistic view of the holocaust experience by a bright young Jewish woman. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Deborah Greitzer
Way too much focus on infidelity for me. I was reading this as a spiritual book, and certainly it has that, but the infidelity part just stuck in my throat.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer