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In 2002 Helene Berr’s niece Mariette Job donated Helene’s journal to The Archives of the Holocaust Memorial in Paris. It was published in France in 2008. David Bellos of Princeton University translated the journal into English for American publication. Helene Berr’s journal is an account of living in profound fear, day by day, in German occupied Paris during the Second World War. The journal covers two years recording what happened to the Jews under the Vichy government. Berr’s father was a WWI veteran and a prominent industrialist. Helene tells the how she felt the first day she had to wear the yellow star. She was a student of English at the Sorbonne, and a gifted violinist. Berr tells the story of her friends, neighbors and family being set off to the concentration camps and how the people rushed into their homes to steal everything. Helene was sent to Auschwitz on her 23 birthday and after 8 months she was moved to Bergen-Belsen. She survived in Bergen-Belsen for 5 months; she was beaten to death five days before the British liberated the camp. Her writing is simple and sometimes uses enchanting prose telling a story of monstrous events. Guila Clara Kessous a French actress did a great job narrating the book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Difficult at times following the thick French accent. Last half of journal was riveting. I really got a feel for what they were experiencing and feeling.