The Journal of Helene Berr

New York, NY: Weinstein Books, 2008. First edition. First edition [stated]. First printing [stated]. Hardcover. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 307 p. Illustrations, black & white, Maps. Index. Following in the tradition of timeless Holocaust literature such as "Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" and "Suite Francaise, " this important literary contribution by a young writer presents an account of war-time Paris that is profoundly affecting and devastatingly lucid. From Wikipedia: "Helene Berr (27 March 1921 April 1945) was a French woman of the Jewish faith, who documented her life in a diary during the time of Nazi occupation of France. In France she is considered to be a "French Anne Frank". Helene Berr was born in Paris, France, a member of a Jewish family that had lived in France for several generations. She studied Russian and English literature at the Sorbonne university. She also played the violin. She was not able to pass her final exam at the university because the anti-Semitic laws of the Vichy regime prevented her from doing so. She was active in the General Organization of Jews in France (Union generale des israelites de France, UGIF). On 8 March 1944 Helene and her parents were captured and taken to Drancy internment camp and from there were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp on 27 March 1944. In early November 1944 Helene was transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died in April 1945 just five days before the liberation of the camp. Helene Berr began her notes on 7 April 1942 at the age of 21. At first the horrors of anti-Semitism and the war do not show in her diary. The landscape around Paris, her feelings for one young man, Gerard, and her friends at the Sorbonne are the topics of her diary. In addition to her studies, the reading and discussion of literature, and playing and listening to music comprise a significant part of her social and cultural life. She falls in love with Jean Morawiecki, who reciprocates, but ultimately decides he must leave Paris to join the Free French in late November 1942. In her text, which has many literary citations including William Shakespeare, John Keats and Lewis Carroll, the war initially appears at most as an evil dream. But little by little she becomes more conscious of her situation. She reports about the yellow badge that Jews were ordered to wear and notes the expulsions from public parks, the curfews and arrests, as well as the abuse against her family members and friends. The actions directed against the Jews become harsher and more painful to all, but the Final Solution itself is never made explicit to the public. Because of this, Berr, who does much volunteer work with orphans, initially finds it impossible to comprehend why women and especially children are included in the deportations to the camps. She hears rumours about the gas chambers and complains about her fear of the future: "We live from hour to hour, not even from day to day." A deported Jew tells her about the plans of the Nazis. The last entry in the diary is about a conversation with a former prisoner of war from Germany. The diary ends on 15 February 1944 with a citation from Shakespeare's 'Macbeth': "Horror! Horror! Horror! Berr ordered her notes to be released to her fiance Jean Morawiecki after her death. Morawiecki later followed a career as a diplomat. In November 1992, Helene Berr's niece Mariette Job decided to track down Morawiecki with a view to publishing the diary. He gave the diary that consists of 262 single pages to Job in April 1994. The diary has been stored at Paris' Memorial de la Shoah (Holocaust Memorial Museum) since 2002. The book was published in France in January 2008. The Liberation paper declared it as the editorial event at the beginning of 2008 and reminded the readers of the lively discussions about the book of Jewish Irène Némirovsky. The first print of 24, 000 copies was sold out after only two days. Opening of the exhibit "Helene Berr, A Stolen Life-Exhibition from Memorial de la Shoah, Paris France", was held at the Alliance Française d'Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia USA, on Wednesday, 22 January 2014, at 7: 00 PM. Speakers. Condition: Very good in very good dust jacket. Signed on title page by Mariette Job and David Bellos.

Keywords: Bergen-Belsen, Concentration Camp, Anti-Semitism, Genocide, Jean Morawiecki, Lyon-Caen, Auschwitz, Deportation, Jean Pineau

ISBN: 9781602860643

[Book #68474]

Price: $50.00