Remembrance

This post was written by Friday guest blogger Annie Reid.

In case you missed it, yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz/Buchenwald.

As part of Germany’s national remembrance, Austrian literary critic Sigrid Loffler examines how Holocaust literature is changing now that survivors are aging and passing away:

If memory experienced should not be lost or disappear from collective memory, it must be transformed from biographical reminiscence into cultural memory; personal memory must be conveyed from the experiences of eyewitnesses into the enduring form of literary construction.

Deutsche-Welle links to this report from last fall of a novel of the Holocaust, published 62 years after the death of its author, Irene Nemirovsky, who was killed at Auschwitz in 1942:

“Suite Francaise” was written in 1942 as Irene Nemirovsky waited in rural France for what she knew was her imminent arrest and deportation. It is a powerful account of the effect on ordinary people of the military collapse of June 1940, the panicked flight from Paris and the arrival of the German army….One of Nemirovsky’s last acts before her arrest was to entrust a suitcase containing photographs and family papers to her two daughters, who for two years traveled from safe house to safe house to avoid the attention of the French police.

Three decades later Denise finally summoned up the courage to read the hidden notebook and was astonished to discover that it was not — as she had supposed — a diary, but the first two parts of the novel. She and her sister, who is now dead, then waited another quarter of a century before finally deciding to publish.

Over at Beatrice, Ron notes that on hand to mourn and remember at Auschwitz were, among the many, Elie Wiesel and Deborah Lipstadt, whose recently published History on Trial, relates how she successfully defended herself from Holocaust denier David Irving’s libel suit.

For more on the literature of the Holocaust, check out this incredibly large collection of links.


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