- By Etty Hillesum Eva Hoffman Jan G. Gaarlandt Arnold J. Pomerans

An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43 (Persephone Book, #5)

  • Title: An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43 (Persephone Book, #5)
  • Author: Etty Hillesum Eva Hoffman Jan G. Gaarlandt Arnold J. Pomerans
  • ISBN: 9780953478057
  • Page: 450
  • Format: Paperback
  • An Interrupted Life The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum Persephone Book Etty Hillesum lived in Amsterdam like Anne Frank and like her she kept a diary All the writings she left behind writes Eva Hoffman in her Preface to this edition of her diaries and letters

    Etty Hillesum 1914 43 lived in Amsterdam, like Anne Frank, and like her she kept a diary All the writings she left behind, writes Eva Hoffman in her Preface to this edition of her diaries and letters, were composed in the shadow of the Holocaust, but they resist being read primarily in its dark light Rather, their abiding interest lies in the light filled mind thatEtty Hillesum 1914 43 lived in Amsterdam, like Anne Frank, and like her she kept a diary All the writings she left behind, writes Eva Hoffman in her Preface to this edition of her diaries and letters, were composed in the shadow of the Holocaust, but they resist being read primarily in its dark light Rather, their abiding interest lies in the light filled mind that pervades them and in the astonishing internal journey they chart Etty s pilgrimage grew out of the intimate experience of an intellectual young woman it was idiosyncratic, individual, and recognisably modern The private person who revealed herself in her diary was impassioned, erotically volatile, restless Yet she had the kind of genius for introspection that converts symptoms into significance and joins self examination to philosophical investigation In the last stages of her amazing and moving journey, Etty seemed to attain that peace which passeth understanding Finally, however, the violence and brutality she saw all around her overwhelmed even her capacity to understand But by knowing and feeling so deeply and fully, an unknown young woman became one of the most exceptional and truest witnesses of the devastation through which she lived.

    1 thought on “An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43 (Persephone Book, #5)

    1. The writing is wonderfully alive. It is like having a conversation. That Etty Hillesum was a young Jewish woman suffering the terrors of Nazi occupied Holland and finally the death camp, that she was engaged in the most peculiar relationship with therapist Julius Spier, that her age, circumstance, background and education are so different from my own, I feel makes no impact on the sense of my conversing with a contemporary. Her psychological insights, particularly her guards against vanity, self [...]

    2. The record of a beautiful, questioning soul who sees life as whole and meaningful, even when it's most visibly divided and meaningless. She kept the diary in the two years before she was sent to Westerbork camp and then sent letters from the camp in the year before she was sent to Auschwitz and died there. She is humble and proud and fearless and scared and yearning, entirely human and brimming over. “But I still suffer from the same old complaint. For the one word that sums up everything with [...]

    3. This is a diary of Etty Hillesum, 27. Sometimes she's talking to herself, sometimes to God, sometimes self-analyzing, sometimes just recording events. She teaches Russian, has a lover, has had lovers before, and yet more than half, I think, of this diary is devoted to the object of her love/infatuation/sexual desire--a man about half her age older, who reads palms, who wrestles with his students as part of their lesson in his psychology class, and who removes his false teeth before he prays. The [...]

    4. If I could only take 10 books with me to a deserted island, this would be one. Sort of "Anne Frank" for adults, it is the journals of a young Dutch Jew caught up in the Holocaust. She is brilliant and outgoing and living life to the full, when Hitler's ugly shadow begins to fall over her world. The struggles and dramas that ensue highlight the development of her soul into a loving and courageous being,who was able to write, even as the net drew tighter around her: "I know that those who hate hav [...]

    5. I'm glad I finally got to read her diaries after reading her letters. I have to say, start with the diaries. I actually read "An Interrupted Life" but wouldn't let me add it twice for some damned reason.Reading her diaries is like having a conversation with a close friend. She was an amazing, interesting person. The same things she talks about twentysomethings are still grappling with. She had such a tender, sweet soul. All the time I was reading this, it just kept hitting me that she was force [...]

    6. Ogni due o tre mesi cerco di leggere un libro sulla Shoah, o argomenti simili, per non dimenticare. Questo libro mi è stato presentato come il corrispettivo de Il diario di Anna Frank: non un romanzo, ma una testimonianza. Trovo il paragone decisamente fuori luogo.Prima di tutto, il libro avrebbe potuto essere scritto da chiunque stesse vivendo in qualsiasi momento storico e non da una giovane ebrea che viveva ad Amsterdam nei primi anni ‘40. Nella maggior parte del libro, sporadici sono i ri [...]

    7. It is not the first time that I read Etty Hillesum, but she always amazes and touches me in the deepest possible way. There is so much greatness in her aspiring Soul, her way is carven in suffering but also joy, as she transforms herself through the two last years of her life, during Holocaust. She learns to love and open herself to God. She can bless life even though there were so many struggles to be fought and so much incredible want and suffering. But Etty can bless life and feel at home for [...]

    8. Etty Hillesum was "discovered" dozens of years after her death, when her diaries were recovered and published.I would advise everyone to read this book, which includes both her diaries and a number of letters exchanged by her and her friends.This is an INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEING, someone who's Soul opened up in the midst of the terrible persecutions during the second world war.A mystic of a kind, Etty made her incredible spiritual development during two plus years, from the age of 27 till her death, [...]

    9. "è importante che non mi lasci dominare da quel che mi sta succedendo. in un modo o nell'altro deve rimanere un fatto subordinato al resto- voglio dire: non ci si dovrebbe mai lasciar paralizzare da una cosa sola, per grave che essa sia, la gran corrente della vita deve continuare a scorrere"(fulgido e fondamentale)

    10. How can I put a star rating on edited personal diary pages and letters written from a transit camp just prior to transport to Auschwitz? I cannot. Discovered and published 40 years after the author’s death, they introduce us to Etty, a 27 year old Jewish woman in the Netherlands who is on a parallel journey of self-discovery. She reads Dostoyevsky, Shakespeare, Kierkegaard, and loves philosophy and Rilke. Facing the Holocaust with eyes wide open, she can write: ‘…when left to myself, I sud [...]

    11. Beautiful, incredible book! Basically an older Anne Frank, Etty is a super modern woman in her late-twenties in Amsterdam. Her diaries make her feel so present, with her evocative writing style and intelligent, ahead-of-her-times kind of life. She lives in a house with roommates from all over, takes lovers of both sexes, and works as a Russian teacher and assistant psychologist. What's most spell-bounding is the way in which the Nazi regime appears in her diary: slowly, through comments such as [...]

    12. This is the diary (and letters) of a young, sensitive, intelligent, loving Dutch Jewish woman during the Nazi occupation, living in Amsterdam and ultimately dying In a concentration camp. Sounds familiar? Yes, but Etty is older than Anne Frank, more mature, more complex. She is highly spiritual in a completely personal way. Her mind and heart continue to shine even as the Nazi net around her slowly closes, and ultimately kills her. I'll never forget this book, though I find it hard to re-read it [...]

    13. Esther Hillesum, detta Etty, ebrea olandese vittima della Shoah, fu una grande donna, forte e positiva. Il suo diario prende avvio nel 1941 e si interrompe nel 1943 con il trasferimento da Amsterdam al campo di transito di Westerbork, poco prima della fine ad Auschwitz. La tragedia personale e collettiva ancora apparentemente lontana, il diario riporta annotazioni e riflessioni interessanti, con la grande donna che certamente traspare, ma devo dire che il livello letterario si è rilevato inferi [...]

    14. Vorrei tanto poter trasmettere ai tempi futuri tutta l'umanità che conservo in me stessa, malgrado le mie esperienze quotidiane.Non conoscevo Etty Hillesum ma sfogliando il catalogo della casa editrice inglese Persephone, ho scoperto che il suo diario (e anche una raccolta di lettere) sono tradotti in italiano. Etty era un'olandese di origine ebraica che nel 1940, quando l'Olanda si arrese alla Germania nazista, aveva ventisei anni e viveva ad Amsterdam, dove studiava e lavorava. Qui conobbe lo [...]

    15. It's a shame Etty Hillesum is not as well known as Anne Frank. She's the Anne Frank for girls in their 20s-30s. She was someone I wish I could be friends or make out with. She was a cool, complicated, intellectual Jewish Dutch girl who died in the gas chambers. She was recomended to me by a friend a long time ago, and this was the first book of hers I was able to get my hands on. I wish that I could have gotten her diaries before I read the letters. While these were interesting, they weren't (I' [...]

    16. Etty Hillesum was a Dutch Jew from Amsterdam; she studied Russian, gave Russian lessons, and kept a diary, focusing mainly on her love affair with psychologist Julius Spier and her efforts to deal personally with the effects of the Nazis taking control of the Netherlands. In 1942, she went to Westerbork, the camp where Dutch Jews were assembled for deportation to other concentration camps; she wrote letters to friends back in Amsterdam, before she was eventually sent to Auschwitz, where she died [...]

    17. Among Holocaust literature, one of the most hopeful; EH is a sensual, compassionate, honest & nonreligious woman of prayer. One of her prayers:"the jasmine behind my house has been completely ruined by the rains and storms of the last few days; its white blossoms are floating about in muddy black pools on the low garage roof. but somewhere inside me the jasmine continues to blossom undisturbed, just as profusely and delicately as ever it did. and it spreads its scent round the house in which [...]

    18. I took this book out of the library in Amsterdam when I had a couple of weeks to spend there. Man! Out of nowhere it blew me away. Or rather, it wasn't even on such a large outward scale. It was the story of someone going deep inside their own soul, in the hardest of hard time, to open up to all of her life. Because it's written without pretension (because it is a diary she was just keeping for herself), and because she writes through the ups and downs, it feels like a very real journey and ther [...]

    19. I read this book in my undergraduate philosophy class and was absolutely blown away because I felt like I knew Etty Hillesum. I identified so much with her and she was able to express feelings that I had but couldn't express myself. She was Jewish and living in the midst of a Nazi occupation. Not something I can identify with at all, yet we had so much in common. I wanted to know her.

    20. A first-hand account of terrible events always resonates strongly I think, but when that first-hand account is beautifully written, with real spiritual depth and intelligence it becomes something rather more special. Etty Hillesum a young Jewish, Russian scholar shared a house with a group of other intellectuals in Amsterdam during World War Two. Etty’s remarkable diaries shine a light on the changing times as the Nazi’s vile agenda and the continually worsening strictures placed upon Jewish [...]

    21. "Oggi pomeriggio ho guardato alcune stampe giapponesi con Glassner. MI sono resa conto che è così che voglio scrivere: con altrettanto spazio intorno a poche parole. Troppe parole mi danno fastidio. Vorrei scrivere parole che siano organicamente inserite in un gran silenzio, e non parole che esistono solo per coprirlo e disperderlo: dovrebbero accentuarlo piuttosto. Come in quell'illustrazione con un ramo fiorito nell'angolo in basso: poche tenere pennellate - ma che resa dei minimi dettagli - [...]

    22. The Diaries conclude the first part of the book, and truly, are profound. So much wisdom in such a young woman. cannot say enoughmetimes it is as if she is speaking to and from my heart. An intimate self-portrait, a generous life, lived fully and joyously and consciously despite truly dark times. I finished Letters From Westerbork. Etty desired to be the "thinking heart" of Westerbork and she was determined to bear witness. She succeeded. A series of letters which describes in detail the lives o [...]

    23. For most of the book, I kept waiting for it to start. Who wants to read page after page about that feeling of being 28 and all sexed up over some guy you can't have? Tedious. There was a nice paragraph on page 70, beginning with "Then something dawned on me." in which she explains how she came to an understanding about her father. Also, I liked the passage on page 87 that starts "There was one bright spot." about taking responsibility for rooting out the evil within and not letting ourselves off [...]

    24. Etty Hillesums diaries have been extremely inspiring and even uplifting for me, despite the horror of what she witnessed and endured around her. She starts off a little melancholic and unsure of herself, which are feelings I can easily relate to, and she often mentions how her hormones can completely dictate her moods. Again, relateable. This is before things around her get really bad, when aquaintances take their lives out of fear of their future fate and friends and family are starting to get [...]

    25. I am heartbroken. Etty's diaries are raw and honest. You can imagine her whispering secrets, desires and philosophy to you over bitter coffee in a small kitchen. From her observations you get a real sense of the growing anti Jewish laws that gradually brought havoc to many lives in Europe. Etty's outlook on life is what makes this book so relatable. Her letters from the concentration camps are just awful. You get a real glimpse of what her outward persona was to others and how much she affected [...]

    26. Wow. This is one of the most moving, and definitely haunting, books I have read in a long time. It evoked so many emotions in me. Anger, sadness, a feeling of helplessness, yet also wonder and joy at the beauty and the meaning of life. I wish the last diary hadn't been lost. In case you haven't heard of Etty Hillesum (I hadn't), she was writing diaries in Holland just a couple of miles away from Anne Frank, at the same time, during the WWII years. A truly remarkable book by a remarkable person.

    27. This seemed like the adult version of Anne Frank. I have used thoughts and quotes from this book over the past few years in my work as a UCC minister. It is profound. The reader accompanies Etty Hillesum through her confinement and ultimately the fate that awaited her as a Jewish woman during WW2. The honesty with which she dealt with her feelings about love and life was compelling. I read it a long time ago, but her story stays with me.

    28. I first became aware of this book when I heard our pastor at the time mention it in a homily. He lent me his copy to read, and afterward, I got one of my own. I found Etty's diaries very moving- tracing her growth from a frivolous party girl into a young woman beginning to test the boundaries of her spiritual faith.

    29. "I think I know what all the 'writing' was aboutjust another way of 'owning,' of drawing things in more tightly to oneself with words and images. And I'm sure that that used to be the very essence of my urge to write creep silently away from everyone with all my carefully hoarded treasure, to write it all down, keep tight hold of it, and have it all to myself."

    30. One of the 10 best books I've ever read. It is in translation, so this rating is for content and not lyric quality. An adult parallel of Anne Frank, Etty resolves "I will not hate the Germans." Her love is gritty and practical. I reread this text regularly for insight.

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