Jewish History & Culture: Holocaust Testimonies

This post, the latest in our series on Jewish History and Culture, looks at holocaust survivor testimonies. It features extracts from Ecologies of Witnessing by Hannah Pollin-Galay, Auschwitz and After by Charlotte Delbo, Salvaged Pages by Alexandra Zapruder and Voices from the Warsaw Ghetto, edited by David G. Roskies.

Ecologies of Witnessing: Language, Place, and Holocaust Testimony

This extract from Ecologies of Witnessing asks what Holocaust testimony is and explores the testimony process in terms of a social scene, to illuminate the manner in which witnesses work with others to make meaning out of their memory.

Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust

This extract from Salvaged Pages is taken from the late 1930s diary of Klaus (later Jacob) Langer, a 14 year old Jewish boy living in a small town near Gelsenkirchen in Germany. The extract illustrates how Klaus’ relatively normal family life and plans for his future are shattered by the events of Kristallnacht and the Nazi attacks on Jewish homes, businesses, property and synagogues.

Auschwitz and After

Written by a member of the French resistance who became an important literary figure in postwar France, Auschwitz and After is a moving memoir of life and death in Auschwitz and the postwar experiences of women survivors. This introduction by Laurence L. Langer introduces the author Charlotte Delbo and highlights some of the key passages from her memoir.

Voices from the Warsaw Ghetto: Writing Our History

Hidden in metal containers and buried underground during World War II, the works in Voices from the Warsaw Ghetto record the Holocaust from the perspective of its first interpreters, the victims themselves. Gathered clandestinely by an underground ghetto collective called Oyneg Shabes, the collection of reportage, diaries, prose, artwork, poems, jokes, and sermons captures the heroism, tragedy, humor, and social dynamics of the ghetto.

Related Reading

Children’s Lives After the Holocaust

Rebecca Clifford

“In this major contribution to the history of the Holocaust, Clifford has written a highly original, deeply moving and perceptive study of the way child survivors struggled to come to terms with their personal tragedies.”—Saul David, The Sunday Telegraph

Find out more

The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization

The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization is a vibrant, growing collection curated by leading Jewish Studies scholars which offers unprecedented direct access to excerpts from thousands of primary sources reflecting Jewish creativity, diversity, and culture world-wide, spanning biblical times to the 21st century when complete.

Find out more

Share this

You must be logged in to post a comment