Het verstoorde leven: Dagboek van Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943

Het verstoorde leven: Dagboek van Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943

Het verstoorde leven: Dagboek van Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943 ❮PDF / Epub❯ ✈ Het verstoorde leven: Dagboek van Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943 ⚣ Author Etty Hillesum – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk For the first time Etty Hillesum's diary and letters appear together to give us the fullest possible portrait of this extraordinary woman In the darkest years of Nazi occupation and genocide Etty Hill For the leven: Dagboek PDF ✓ first time Etty Hillesum's diary and letters appear together to give us the fullest possible portrait of this extraordinary woman In the darkest years of Nazi occupation and genocide Etty Het verstoorde MOBI :Þ Hillesum remained a celebrant of life whose lucid intelligence sympathy and almost impossible gallantry were themselves a form of inner resistance The adult counterpart to Anne Frank Hillesum testifies to the possibility of verstoorde leven: Dagboek PDF/EPUB å awareness and compassion in the face of the most devastating challenge to one's humanity She died at Auschwitz in at the age of twenty nine.


10 thoughts on “Het verstoorde leven: Dagboek van Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943

  1. Hilary Hilary says:

    I highly anticipated reading this long book that has been likened to Anne Frank's diary and tells of a young woman's life in occupied Amsterdam but after 200 pages I gave up Skimming further towards the end it seemed to go in a similar vein to the first 200 pages Etty writes endlessly about being in love with different men at the same time nothing of interest about the love triangles just endless talk of her feelings for this or that man endlessly talking about how in love she is interspersed with prayers and bible readings it seems Etty was a Christian and a Jew but really nothing about life in occupied Holland At the end of the book are letters Etty sent from a concentration camp obviously these are not included in my rating any personal letters from such a situation are beyond rating I'm afraid to say I found the diary really boring


  2. Ade Bailey Ade Bailey says:

    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 preoccupation depression and lack of centred stability seem for me the best I have read Her spirituality simply by being expressed obliuely seems in that expression to suggest the universality of a genuine inner life as guide and comforter which is so important today as it was then when we are assailed by 'spiritual entertainment' 'spiritual' selfishness 'spiritual' hedonism Her gradual acceptance of suffering and dread as part of the whole of her Being is marked eually as genuine precisely by its being itself glimpsed by her obliuely partially through eyes misted with doubt and distrust never did it become a lump of proud truth a mere formulaic centre or hieroglyphic scribble of empty nonsense She seemed the best of humanbeingness And she has returned me to RilkeAs the diary crosses over into her letters from Westerbork the transit camp where Jews were brought en route to the concentration camps the pathos becomes almost unbearable It is in the tiny details She becomes overwhelmed by the madness the horror the dread the continuous losses the ever increasing scarcities bureaucratic randomness yet still has moments where she wonders at the beauty of the world while witnessing mass murder before her eyes I can't recommend this book to anybody It must come by chance or fortune You get to witness not a memoir a looking back but a situation where the writing and thinking make up the situation itself


  3. Kirsten Kirsten says:

    The record of a beautiful uestioning 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 within me the overflowing and rich sense of life ‘Why did you not make me a poet oh God? But perhaps You did and so I shall wait patiently until the words have grown inside me the words that proclaim how good and beautiful it is to live in Your world oh God despite everything we human beings do to one another’ The thinking heart of the barracks” 1942“People here fritter their energy away on the thousand irksome details that grind us down every day; they lose themselves in detail and drown That’s why they get driven off course and find existence pointless The few big things that matter in life are what we have to keep in mind; the rest can be uietly abandoned And you can find those few big things anywhere you have to keep rediscovering them in yourself so that you can be renewed And in spite of everything you always end up with the same conviction life is good after all it’s not God’s fault that things go awry sometimes the cause lies in ourselves” 1942


  4. Lorraine Lorraine says:

    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 beingwho was able to write even as the net drew tighter around her I know that those who hate have good reason to do so But why should we always have to choose the cheapest and easiest way? It has been brought home forcibly to me here how every atom of hatred added to the world makes it an even inhospitable place And I believe childishly perhaps but stubbornly that the earth will become habitable again only through the love that the Jew Paul described to the citzens of Corinth in the thirteenth chapter of his first letter We need this kind of thinking and living as much in our 21st century world as they needed it in Europe in 1942


  5. Anna Anna says:

    Etty Hillesum’s extraordinary diary and letters are a chronicle of the Holocaust unlike any other I’ve read They are devastating uplifting and above all distinctive Her voice comes through so clearly and powerfully as she initially describes her daily life in Amsterdam and then in the Westerbork labour camp Her final letter was a postcard thrown from the train that took her to Auschwitz where she her parents and her brother were killed in 1943 As circumstances for Jews in The Netherlands deteriorated she attempted to protect her family and friends while retaining an incredible inner strength Her spirituality appears from her writing uite bible centric yet her view of suffering recalled Buddhism Not that I know a great deal about any religion in particular but I was strongly reminded of The Book of Joy Lasting Happiness in a Changing World a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu How strange that a book chronicling one of the most horrific crimes against humanity should remind me of such a title In that dialogue the essential similarity between Christian prayer and Buddhist meditation is emphasised Etty Hillesum cultivated habits of introspection and prayer that seem a lot like meditation and her acceptance of suffering while rejecting hatred echoes the Dalai Lama For example she wrote in 1942Does this mean I am never sad that I never rebel always acuiesce and love life no matter what the circumstances? No far from it I believe that I know and share the many sorrows and sad circumstances that a human being can experience but I do not cling to them I do not prolong such moments of agony They pass through me like life itself as a broad eternal stream they become part of that stream and life continues And as a result all my strength is preserved does not become tagged on to futile sorrow or rebelliousnessHer diary and letters confront the reader with complex uestions about the nature of resistance in extreme circumstances Etty refused opportunities to potentially escape or hide despite knowing that if she stayed in Westerbrok she would almost certainly be transported to Poland and killed Her love of life even the horribly degrading life inside the camp did not prevent her accepting death She clearly wanted to help others for as long as she could while also having reconciled herself to death’s approach after careful thought In this respect and others her diary reminded me of The Journal of a Disappointed Man A Last Diary another voice of one long dead that seems so close by as you read their words Etty wrote this extraordinary passage shortly before being sent to WesterborkI shall always be able to stand on my own two feet even when they are planted on the hardest soil of the harshest reality And my acceptance is not indifference or helplessness I feel deep moral indignation at a regime that treats human beings in such a way But events have become too overwhelming and too demonic to be stemmed with personal resentment and bitterness These responses strike me as being utterly childish and uneual to the fateful course of eventsPeople often get worked up when I say it doesn’t really matter whether I go or somebody else does the main things is that so many thousands have to go It is not as if I want to fall into the arms of destruction with a resigned smile – far from it I am only bowing to the inevitable and even as I do so I am sustained by the certain knowledge that ultimately they cannot rob us of anything that matters But I don’t think I would feel happy if I were exempted from what so many others have to suffer They keep telling me that someone like me has a duty to go into hiding because I have so many things to do in life so much to give But I know that whatever I may have to give to others I can give it no matter where I am here in the circle of my friends or over there in a concentration camp And it is sheer arrogance to think oneself too good to share the fate of the massesThere is so much in Etty’s writing to move the reader and inspire introspection She rejected binaries and generalisations always seeking deeper and nuanced understandingA world is in the process of collapse But the world will go on and so for the present shall I full of good heart and goodwill Nevertheless we who are left behind are just a little bit destitute though inwardly I still feel so rich that the destitution is not fully brought home to me However one must keep in touch with the real world and know one’s place in it; it is wrong to live only with the eternal truths for then one is apt to end up behaving like an ostrich To live fully outwardly and inwardly not to ignore external reality for the sake of an inner life or the reverse – that’s uite a taskThroughout the diary and letters Etty found solace in reading however she emphasised the importance of books for study in pursuit of understanding rather than escape I found this especially stimulatingAll this devouring of books from early youth has been nothing but laziness on my part I allow others to formulate what I ought to be formulating myself I keep seeking outside confirmation of what is hidden deep inside me when I know I can only reach clarity by using my own words I really must abandon all that laziness and particularly my inhibitions and insecurity if I am ever to find myself and through myself find others I must have clarity and must learn to accept myselfEven while falling victim to the horrific murderous system of Nazism Etty exhibited incredible empathyThat was the real import of this morning not that a disgruntled young Gestapo officer yelled at me but that I felt no indignation rather a real compassion and would have liked to ask “Did you have a very unhappy childhood has your girlfriend let you down?” Yes he looked harassed and driven sullen and weak I should have liked to start treating him then and there for I know that pitiful young men like that are dangerous as soon as they are let loose on humankind But the blame must be put on the system that uses such people What needs eradicating is the evil in man not man himselfSomething else about this morning the perception very strongly borne in that despite all the suffering and injustice I cannot hate others All the appalling things that happen are no mysterious threats from afar but rise from fellow human beings very close to us That makes these happenings familiar then and not so frightening The terrifying thing is that systems grow too big for men and hold them in a satanic grip the builders no less than the victims of the system much as large edifices and spires created by men’s hands tower high above us dominate us yet may collapse over our heads and bury usI hardly need to point out the continued relevance of these comments today Perhaps the most powerful theme in Hillsum’s writing is the strength that comes from understanding oneself through a combination of introspection and discussion with a wide circle of loved ones To read her words 75 years after she was murdered is a reminder of an appalling genocide that must never be allowed to happen again as well as an insight into the mind of a fascinating complicated woman who I would love to have known as a friend She retained her distinctive voice even as the end neared and she wrote ‘For us I think it is no longer a uestion of living but of how one is euipped for one’s extinction’ Yet the phrase from the book that most struck me is this ‘Somewhere deep inside me is a workshop in which Titans are forging a new world’ That's one of the most beautiful expressions of hope that I have ever read I can hardly recommend Etty Hillsum’s writing highly enough


  6. Cathrine ☯️ Cathrine ☯️ says:

    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 suddenly lie against the naked breast of life and her arms round me are so gentle and so protective and my own heartbeat is difficult to describe so slow and so regular and so soft almost muffled but so constant as if it would never stop That is also my attitude to life and I believe that neither war nor any other senseless human atrocity will ever be able to change it’ And ‘Not for one moment was I cut off from the life I was said to have left behind There was simply one great meaningful whole Will I be able to describe all that one day? So that others can feel too how lovely and worth living and just — yes just—life really is?’ Yes she did in spite of it all


  7. Maria Carmo Maria Carmo says:

    Etty Hillesum was discovered dozens of years after her death when her diaries were recovered and publishedI would advise everyone to read this book which includes both her diaries and a number of letters exchanged by her and her friendsThis is an INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEING someone who's Soul opened up in the midst of the terrible persecutions during the second world warA mystic of a kind Etty made her incredible spiritual development during two plus years from the age of 27 till her death aged 29 years oldThis young woman who was cultured had studied Law and Psychology could speak besides her native Dutch at least German and Russian fluently and possibly other languages as well who played music and was a writer dug deeply into the recesses of her soul in order to find beauty and harmony in a time of relentless pain and difficultyShe had friends who could have helped her to escape but she declined that assuming her fate with a song in her heart A Great SoulMaria Carmo7 7 2011


  8. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    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 the hook by blaming the really bad guys in this case the Nazis There are also some spots where Etty observes that the oppressors are human too If this were a novel I would say the point is that we should aim to be the bright spot But it's a diary which is why I decided it was okay 2 stars instead of didn't like it 1 star even though I didn't really get it For example she reads and uotes from the new testament but she never explains why a Jew would turn to Christianity


  9. alone with the moon alone with the moon says:

    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 auaintances take their lives out of fear of their future fate and friends and family are starting to get called up As her freedoms becomes smaller her mind seems to expand for other thoughts which she seems so be able to write down ever lucidly She focuses on the lives of those around her and becomes a great source of comfort for many as she volunteers to go to the camps early to help transport others and look after themHer writings make me try to remember that we should always focus on love at the heart of everything and not allow hate to obscure our thoughts She says at one point that we often wish people would understand us but how often do we try to understand others?


  10. Margaret Margaret says:

    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 She was a natural writer and her diaries and letters are very vivid particularly the letters when she describes Westerbork in great detail and moving often almost unbearably so She had a great gift for self analysis and her writings show the remarkable emotional journey she made in the course of mastering her own unruly emotions coming to a point of euilibrium which allowed her to face the destruction of her friends her family and her own life with calm resolve


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10 thoughts on “Het verstoorde leven: Dagboek van Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943

  1. Hilary Hilary says:

    I highly anticipated reading this long book that has been likened to Anne Frank's diary and tells of a young woman's life in occupied Amsterdam but after 200 pages I gave up Skimming further towards the end it seemed to go in a similar vein to the first 200 pages Etty writes endlessly about being in love with different men at the same time nothing of interest about the love triangles just endless talk of her feelings for this or that man endlessly talking about how in love she is interspersed with prayers and bible readings it seems Etty was a Christian and a Jew but really nothing about life in occupied Holland At the end of the book are letters Etty sent from a concentration camp obviously these are not included in my rating any personal letters from such a situation are beyond rating I'm afraid to say I found the diary really boring

  2. Ade Bailey Ade Bailey says:

    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 preoccupation depression and lack of centred stability seem for me the best I have read Her spirituality simply by being expressed obliuely seems in that expression to suggest the universality of a genuine inner life as guide and comforter which is so important today as it was then when we are assailed by 'spiritual entertainment' 'spiritual' selfishness 'spiritual' hedonism Her gradual acceptance of suffering and dread as part of the whole of her Being is marked eually as genuine precisely by its being itself glimpsed by her obliuely partially through eyes misted with doubt and distrust never did it become a lump of proud truth a mere formulaic centre or hieroglyphic scribble of empty nonsense She seemed the best of humanbeingness And she has returned me to RilkeAs the diary crosses over into her letters from Westerbork the transit camp where Jews were brought en route to the concentration camps the pathos becomes almost unbearable It is in the tiny details She becomes overwhelmed by the madness the horror the dread the continuous losses the ever increasing scarcities bureaucratic randomness yet still has moments where she wonders at the beauty of the world while witnessing mass murder before her eyes I can't recommend this book to anybody It must come by chance or fortune You get to witness not a memoir a looking back but a situation where the writing and thinking make up the situation itself

  3. Kirsten Kirsten says:

    The record of a beautiful uestioning 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 within me the overflowing and rich sense of life ‘Why did you not make me a poet oh God? But perhaps You did and so I shall wait patiently until the words have grown inside me the words that proclaim how good and beautiful it is to live in Your world oh God despite everything we human beings do to one another’ The thinking heart of the barracks” 1942“People here fritter their energy away on the thousand irksome details that grind us down every day; they lose themselves in detail and drown That’s why they get driven off course and find existence pointless The few big things that matter in life are what we have to keep in mind; the rest can be uietly abandoned And you can find those few big things anywhere you have to keep rediscovering them in yourself so that you can be renewed And in spite of everything you always end up with the same conviction life is good after all it’s not God’s fault that things go awry sometimes the cause lies in ourselves” 1942

  4. Lorraine Lorraine says:

    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 beingwho was able to write even as the net drew tighter around her I know that those who hate have good reason to do so But why should we always have to choose the cheapest and easiest way? It has been brought home forcibly to me here how every atom of hatred added to the world makes it an even inhospitable place And I believe childishly perhaps but stubbornly that the earth will become habitable again only through the love that the Jew Paul described to the citzens of Corinth in the thirteenth chapter of his first letter We need this kind of thinking and living as much in our 21st century world as they needed it in Europe in 1942

  5. Anna Anna says:

    Etty Hillesum’s extraordinary diary and letters are a chronicle of the Holocaust unlike any other I’ve read They are devastating uplifting and above all distinctive Her voice comes through so clearly and powerfully as she initially describes her daily life in Amsterdam and then in the Westerbork labour camp Her final letter was a postcard thrown from the train that took her to Auschwitz where she her parents and her brother were killed in 1943 As circumstances for Jews in The Netherlands deteriorated she attempted to protect her family and friends while retaining an incredible inner strength Her spirituality appears from her writing uite bible centric yet her view of suffering recalled Buddhism Not that I know a great deal about any religion in particular but I was strongly reminded of The Book of Joy Lasting Happiness in a Changing World a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu How strange that a book chronicling one of the most horrific crimes against humanity should remind me of such a title In that dialogue the essential similarity between Christian prayer and Buddhist meditation is emphasised Etty Hillesum cultivated habits of introspection and prayer that seem a lot like meditation and her acceptance of suffering while rejecting hatred echoes the Dalai Lama For example she wrote in 1942Does this mean I am never sad that I never rebel always acuiesce and love life no matter what the circumstances? No far from it I believe that I know and share the many sorrows and sad circumstances that a human being can experience but I do not cling to them I do not prolong such moments of agony They pass through me like life itself as a broad eternal stream they become part of that stream and life continues And as a result all my strength is preserved does not become tagged on to futile sorrow or rebelliousnessHer diary and letters confront the reader with complex uestions about the nature of resistance in extreme circumstances Etty refused opportunities to potentially escape or hide despite knowing that if she stayed in Westerbrok she would almost certainly be transported to Poland and killed Her love of life even the horribly degrading life inside the camp did not prevent her accepting death She clearly wanted to help others for as long as she could while also having reconciled herself to death’s approach after careful thought In this respect and others her diary reminded me of The Journal of a Disappointed Man A Last Diary another voice of one long dead that seems so close by as you read their words Etty wrote this extraordinary passage shortly before being sent to WesterborkI shall always be able to stand on my own two feet even when they are planted on the hardest soil of the harshest reality And my acceptance is not indifference or helplessness I feel deep moral indignation at a regime that treats human beings in such a way But events have become too overwhelming and too demonic to be stemmed with personal resentment and bitterness These responses strike me as being utterly childish and uneual to the fateful course of eventsPeople often get worked up when I say it doesn’t really matter whether I go or somebody else does the main things is that so many thousands have to go It is not as if I want to fall into the arms of destruction with a resigned smile – far from it I am only bowing to the inevitable and even as I do so I am sustained by the certain knowledge that ultimately they cannot rob us of anything that matters But I don’t think I would feel happy if I were exempted from what so many others have to suffer They keep telling me that someone like me has a duty to go into hiding because I have so many things to do in life so much to give But I know that whatever I may have to give to others I can give it no matter where I am here in the circle of my friends or over there in a concentration camp And it is sheer arrogance to think oneself too good to share the fate of the massesThere is so much in Etty’s writing to move the reader and inspire introspection She rejected binaries and generalisations always seeking deeper and nuanced understandingA world is in the process of collapse But the world will go on and so for the present shall I full of good heart and goodwill Nevertheless we who are left behind are just a little bit destitute though inwardly I still feel so rich that the destitution is not fully brought home to me However one must keep in touch with the real world and know one’s place in it; it is wrong to live only with the eternal truths for then one is apt to end up behaving like an ostrich To live fully outwardly and inwardly not to ignore external reality for the sake of an inner life or the reverse – that’s uite a taskThroughout the diary and letters Etty found solace in reading however she emphasised the importance of books for study in pursuit of understanding rather than escape I found this especially stimulatingAll this devouring of books from early youth has been nothing but laziness on my part I allow others to formulate what I ought to be formulating myself I keep seeking outside confirmation of what is hidden deep inside me when I know I can only reach clarity by using my own words I really must abandon all that laziness and particularly my inhibitions and insecurity if I am ever to find myself and through myself find others I must have clarity and must learn to accept myselfEven while falling victim to the horrific murderous system of Nazism Etty exhibited incredible empathyThat was the real import of this morning not that a disgruntled young Gestapo officer yelled at me but that I felt no indignation rather a real compassion and would have liked to ask “Did you have a very unhappy childhood has your girlfriend let you down?” Yes he looked harassed and driven sullen and weak I should have liked to start treating him then and there for I know that pitiful young men like that are dangerous as soon as they are let loose on humankind But the blame must be put on the system that uses such people What needs eradicating is the evil in man not man himselfSomething else about this morning the perception very strongly borne in that despite all the suffering and injustice I cannot hate others All the appalling things that happen are no mysterious threats from afar but rise from fellow human beings very close to us That makes these happenings familiar then and not so frightening The terrifying thing is that systems grow too big for men and hold them in a satanic grip the builders no less than the victims of the system much as large edifices and spires created by men’s hands tower high above us dominate us yet may collapse over our heads and bury usI hardly need to point out the continued relevance of these comments today Perhaps the most powerful theme in Hillsum’s writing is the strength that comes from understanding oneself through a combination of introspection and discussion with a wide circle of loved ones To read her words 75 years after she was murdered is a reminder of an appalling genocide that must never be allowed to happen again as well as an insight into the mind of a fascinating complicated woman who I would love to have known as a friend She retained her distinctive voice even as the end neared and she wrote ‘For us I think it is no longer a uestion of living but of how one is euipped for one’s extinction’ Yet the phrase from the book that most struck me is this ‘Somewhere deep inside me is a workshop in which Titans are forging a new world’ That's one of the most beautiful expressions of hope that I have ever read I can hardly recommend Etty Hillsum’s writing highly enough

  6. Cathrine ☯️ Cathrine ☯️ says:

    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 suddenly lie against the naked breast of life and her arms round me are so gentle and so protective and my own heartbeat is difficult to describe so slow and so regular and so soft almost muffled but so constant as if it would never stop That is also my attitude to life and I believe that neither war nor any other senseless human atrocity will ever be able to change it’ And ‘Not for one moment was I cut off from the life I was said to have left behind There was simply one great meaningful whole Will I be able to describe all that one day? So that others can feel too how lovely and worth living and just — yes just—life really is?’ Yes she did in spite of it all

  7. Maria Carmo Maria Carmo says:

    Etty Hillesum was discovered dozens of years after her death when her diaries were recovered and publishedI would advise everyone to read this book which includes both her diaries and a number of letters exchanged by her and her friendsThis is an INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEING someone who's Soul opened up in the midst of the terrible persecutions during the second world warA mystic of a kind Etty made her incredible spiritual development during two plus years from the age of 27 till her death aged 29 years oldThis young woman who was cultured had studied Law and Psychology could speak besides her native Dutch at least German and Russian fluently and possibly other languages as well who played music and was a writer dug deeply into the recesses of her soul in order to find beauty and harmony in a time of relentless pain and difficultyShe had friends who could have helped her to escape but she declined that assuming her fate with a song in her heart A Great SoulMaria Carmo7 7 2011

  8. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    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 the hook by blaming the really bad guys in this case the Nazis There are also some spots where Etty observes that the oppressors are human too If this were a novel I would say the point is that we should aim to be the bright spot But it's a diary which is why I decided it was okay 2 stars instead of didn't like it 1 star even though I didn't really get it For example she reads and uotes from the new testament but she never explains why a Jew would turn to Christianity

  9. alone with the moon alone with the moon says:

    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 auaintances take their lives out of fear of their future fate and friends and family are starting to get called up As her freedoms becomes smaller her mind seems to expand for other thoughts which she seems so be able to write down ever lucidly She focuses on the lives of those around her and becomes a great source of comfort for many as she volunteers to go to the camps early to help transport others and look after themHer writings make me try to remember that we should always focus on love at the heart of everything and not allow hate to obscure our thoughts She says at one point that we often wish people would understand us but how often do we try to understand others?

  10. Margaret Margaret says:

    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 She was a natural writer and her diaries and letters are very vivid particularly the letters when she describes Westerbork in great detail and moving often almost unbearably so She had a great gift for self analysis and her writings show the remarkable emotional journey she made in the course of mastering her own unruly emotions coming to a point of euilibrium which allowed her to face the destruction of her friends her family and her own life with calm resolve

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