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Hélène Berr (1921–1945)

Forfatter af Dagbog 1942-1944

3 Works 452 Members 20 Reviews 2 Favorited

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Omfatter også følgende navne: Hélène Berr, Hélène Berr, Hélène Berr, Hélène Berr

Disambiguation Notice:

(yid) VIAF:7708675

(dut) VIAF:7708675

(eng) VIAF:7708675

Værker af Hélène Berr

Dagbog 1942-1944 (2008) 449 eksemplarer
Dagbok 1942-44 (2008) 2 eksemplarer

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Kanonisk navn
Berr, Hélène
Juridisk navn
Berr, Hélène
Land (til kort)
Parijs, Frankrijk
Concentratiekamp Bergen-Belsen, Duitsland
Parijs, Frankrijk
Universiteit Sorbonne, Parijs, Frankrijk (Russische en Engelse literatuur)
L’Union générale des israélites de France (UGIF)
Kort biografi
Hélène Berr was born in Paris to a Jewish family that had lived in France for generations. She was a brilliant English student at the Sorbonne when the Germans invaded France in World War II. As a Jew, she could not continue her studies at the university. She began to keep a diary in April 1942, at age 21. At first she wrote about her social life and ordinary events. Then the horror of the Nazi Occupation intensified. Hélène's close friends and colleagues were rounded up or just disappeared, and rumors reached her that Jews deported to the Polish border were being asphyxiated with gas. Hélène's intended the diary to be given to her fiancé, Jean Morawiecki, who had joined the Free French. As she wrote, Hélène gave batches of the loose pages to the family cook, Andrée Bardiau. Her final entry on February 15, 1944, ended: "Horror! Horror! Horror!" Three weeks later, the Gestapo arrested the family during the night. Hélène Berr and her parents were deported to Auschwitz on her 23rd birthday. Her parents were killed but Hélène survived for some time, including the death march from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen. There she was beaten to death because she was too sick and weak from typhus to get up from her bunk for the morning reveille. Five days later, the camp was liberated by the British Army. Hélène's diary did eventually reach her fiancé and remained private for more than 50 years. In 1992, Hélène's niece, Mariette Job, decided to track down the diary. Thanks to her persistence, it was published in 2008 in France and sold more than 100,000 copies.
Oplysning om flertydighed




Poignant, prégnant, éreintant, désoriantant, réorieantant...
Grave et léger, factuel et bien lourd, barbare indéfiniment au nom du temps et de l'humanité. Ce journal récit est sans date. Dans les mains une édition de 2007, c'était hier, avant hier mais quelle présence.

Anne Franck, Etty Hilesum sont bien connues par leurs journaux.
Ici, dans ce Paris fracturé, préssuré, passif, collaboratif, indifférent ou moins, oppressant, Hélène Berr transmet les tons, les rythmes et les cadres. Sa compagnie installe nos mémoires et nos consciences dans sa proximité matérielle. Elle est bien là ! puis plus. On ne sort pas indemne de cette lecture et de l'appropriation de l'intime. Cela d'autant que ses fréquentations littéraires (étudiante en anglais en 42) qui portent tant de civilisation, de voyage sont en opposition avec son propre parcours. Dès lors quel abomination que ces lois et articles sortis du tréfond d'âmes destructrices vs ces auteurs tels que Lewis Caroll, Joseph Conrad, Dostoïevski, John Keats, Hemingway, Kipling, Melville, Rilke, Tchekov, Tolstoï.... le contraste est saisissant.

Pffff... à couper le souffle.

Peu compte le prix, P Modiano est Nobel. Il préface ce journal et en der de couv indique "Une voie et une présence qui nous accompagneront toute notre vie".
Sans aucun doute !

L'approche de la période et du cadre - pour les plus distants, jeunes et moins jeunes - peut demander un complément éducatif. Mais d'Hollywood ici, rien. C'est la rue d'à côté, l'université du coin, la famille du dessus et l'amie de chacun dont il est question. A mettre entre toutes les mains, à commencer par l'école. Dans quelle matière ? Histoire, Littérature, Français, anglais, éducation civique, (politique et même économique... et même en logistique)...

nb : offert avec discernement 4/5 fois pr assagir et / ou assainir... probant !

ps : critique (ici générale) laissée à l'occasion de l'encodage à la chaîne des isbn (Il reste quelques PAL à incrémenter sur le site à l'époque fréquenté : Babelio). La lecture est de 2008 puis 2014, la mémoire reste vive et le palpitant désencarcané d'ou ces quelques mots.

(Critique initiale du 5 juin 2017)
… (mere)
JMK2020 | 19 andre anmeldelser | Feb 14, 2021 |
A remarkable diary. It seems that there are so many holocaust books now that there is nothing new to be learned, but of course there is.

You might call this the French Anne Frank, but it isn't really. Helene Berr was French, lived in Paris, from a privileged family. During the German occupation of France she wrote this diary. It may seem astounding that her everyday life was not much different during this time than it had been before. She went with her family to their country estate frequently, to picnic, to relax. She continued to attend classes at the Sorbonne, even though as Jew she was limited in the courses of study she could take officially. She had friends, including some who became more than friends.

But she wasn't ignorant of the pain of others. She was aware that bad things were happening to Jews elsewhere and to other "classes" of Jews within France. Her father was a prominent citizen, initially exempt from seizure. As time went on, more and more people are taken, some to a nearby prison and some directly "deported". Helene did not know exactly what went on when people were deported. She seemed to have some idea that they were imprisoned for things that they had done, however slight the offense, and that they simply had to do their time. She heard of many deaths but she was not, it appears, aware of the concentration camps.

She worked as a volunteer at an organization the was formed to help Jews find their relatives or provide help with other problems. This organization was sanctioned by the German occupation as a way, it seems, to make the citizens believe all was not as bad as it seemed. However, secretly the organization found homes for Jewish children in non-Jewish families, many of them in the country and villages outside Paris. Thus a great many Jewish children were spared the fate of their counterparts who did not receive this help.

Over time Helene's family became increasingly aware that the net was drawing closer to them. They had chosen to live their lives as close to normally as possible. To escape to the "free" zone was considered cowardly (it wasn't all that free anyway). Helene in particular was less concerned about her own safety than that of others.

The diary provides a view from a a different perspective than most. It is well written, quick to read, yet of course horrifying because we know what's coming.
… (mere)
slojudy | 19 andre anmeldelser | Sep 8, 2020 |
Hélène Berr, ventunenne ebrea parigina, inizia a tenere un diario, descrivendo con brillante spirito di osservazione la sua vita quotidiana. Hélène affida alle pagine i suoi pensieri di ragazza "normale", tutta presa dagli studi e dall'amore per il suo Jean. (fonte: Google Books)
MemorialeSardoShoah | 19 andre anmeldelser | Apr 30, 2020 |
Although I read this book in French, it is available in English translation and I highly recommend it. My reaction is best summarized by the French word bouleversée, which means deeply moved, utterly distressed, shattered. Although I abhor any manipulation of my emotions on the part of a novelist or filmmaker, the experience of reading this young woman's journal was quite different. Perhaps it comes down to the authenticity of witness and her commitment to recording what she was thinking, experiencing and seeing as a young Jewish woman in a Paris subjected not only to the nightmare of occupation but also that of collaboration, as well as complicity in the form of passivity, indifference, & the closing of eyes and shutting of doors to the suffering of others. At the same time, there are many who take great risks, who act selflessly and with compassion. The journal begins just as Jews in France are ordered to wear the yellow star in public and as Hélène meets fellow-student Jean Morawiecki for the first time, the young man who will become her fiance: a love story truncated by the war (Jean leaves Paris to join the French forces in North Africa) and matured within the context of increasingly harsh restrictions imposed on Hélène. The pace of arrests and deportations picks up. First, it is the foreign Jews who are taken, then all Jews. Finally, there is no longer any safe zone, no Free France, no protected status anywhere.
Certain passages, certain of Hélène's thoughts regarding her decision to remain in Paris (not entirely her decision, since she was living with her parents throughout) and not try to escape made me think of Simone Weil, particularly certain references Berr makes to her reading of the teachings of Christ. But unlike Weil, Berr isn't obsessed with self-abnegation. And, so, her concern for the suffering of others, her refusal to turn away from that suffering, which is also hers, is both more palatable to me and more heroic. Early on, she writes "Because, even in suffering, liberty is a consolation."
Hélène's arguments with herself over staying or leaving fuel a longtime obsession of mine with this question. She resists abandoning her official life (French intellectual, student at the Sorbonne, accomplished musician) for an unofficial one. She resists accepting the identity being imposed on her by History, that of the victim and of the one apart, an identity assigned by way of an attribute (the word "Jew"). To acknowledge the label Jew, to wear the yellow star, to obey the Nazis' increasingly insane and unjust laws becomes both an act of capitulation and one of solidarity. And, it is from within this fraught and contradictory space that Hélène thinks and acts. The question she wrestles with is whether it is more courageous, more "right," to stay or to leave. In any case, it is clear that she feels she cannot leave as long as her parents and other loved ones stay. For her, compassion, being "with" in suffering, is more important than saving her own life. It remains unclear whether there were realistic opportunities for Hélène and her family to flee--at first, many deportees were apprehended attempting to cross the border into the "free" zone; later, after Germany occupied all of France, escape would have been even more difficult. Hélène doesn't discuss the possibility of hiding in Paris except when toward the end, after repeated warnings of raids, her father decides that they won't spend nights in their own home and instead take refuge in the homes of their housekeeper and other friends. It is after a night when they fail to do so and instead remain at home that they are apprehended, detained and, finally, deported to Auschwitz. After evacuation to Bergen-Belsen in November, 1944 , Hélène, sick with typhus, is murdered by a guard in May, 1945 just 5 days before liberation of the camp.
The utter absurdity of having to make impossible choices brings to mind a nightmare I once had: "I’m waiting in a car for an explosion that is set to go off in a garage in front of the car. This seems to be a group suicide, with a male “leader.” I don’t know how I became involved in this, but my adult son is also in the car, seated in the rear. A toddler with a mop of black hair is cavorting around nearby. We try to shoo him away from the car, but he doesn’t understand and is playful. Suddenly, I jump out of the car, grab the child and run. As I run uphill away from the car, the toddler morphs into a still hairless infant. I reach the limit of my uphill flight and turn to the right, hoping that I’ve gotten far enough away from the car to save the child from the blast. As I contemplate how to get through a neighbor’s hedge, I hear an explosion go off behind me and realize, horrified, that my own son has remained behind me in that car."
… (mere)
Paulagraph | 19 andre anmeldelser | May 25, 2014 |


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