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The Journal of Helene Berr by Hélène Berr
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's review
Oct 21, 2011

really liked it
Read from October 21 to November 09, 2011

This is the diary of a young well-to-do French Jewish woman kept during the German occupation of France in WWII. The first half of the diary takes place in 1942 and depicts your typical young woman interests; for Helene that was her education and the man she loved. There are a few insights into what was happening in France in 1942. Particularly interesting is Helene's thoughts on having to wear the star for the first time and the reactions of the people she meets while wearing it.

Helene stopped writing in the diary from late 1942 to late 1943 so there is a year's gap. The second half of this diary is a masterpiece because Helene shares her inner life while the Nazi "final solution" for the jewish problem is carried out. It is a heart rending story and Helene was a very brave young woman who felt deeply the pain of all those suffering around her.

Helene did not survive the concentration camps. The diary was sent to the man she loved as she had requested. He kept it all these years until Helene's niece searched for the journal, eventually publishing it.


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