Most of the Holocaust's victims were never able to tell their stories, and of the millions of victims, only a few hundred were able to write about their experiences. This makes surviving personal testimonies precious in many ways. They provide a rich resource for understanding both individual experience, as well as the ways in which the socio-historical context (i.e. region, gender, and class) greatly influenced each distinctive experience. This study examines six Holocaust diaries, of Jewish victims, taken from three different parts of occupied Europe: from Poland, Janusz Korczak's Ghetto Diary and Chaim Kaplan's The Scroll of Agony; from Holland, Etty Hillesum's An Interupted Life:the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork and Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl; and lastly, from France, Helene Berr's Journal of Helene Berr and Raymond Raoul Lambert's Diary of a Witness, 1940-1943. Through an examination of these six diaries, this project analyzes how the personal experience of individuals who witnessed the period and chronicled its events helps us understand both the nature of the Holocaust experience and the specific local political, social, and economic contexts. This project argues that an examination of these texts, when studied alongside the histories of their specific local contexts, can reveal both what all victims shared, throughout Europe during the period, as well as what was localized- how the different horrors experienced, by the victims, created different versions of the same hell.
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Lyons, Amelia H.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Oldham, Jessica Leah, "Holocaust diaries bearing witness to experience in Poland, the Netherlands, and France" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1172.