Based on hundreds of letters, postcards, diaries, video recordings and many other sources, historian Andrea Löw weaves the individual stories into a shocking testimony. A testimony that is all the more important because the last surviving victims of the Shoah will soon no longer be able to tell their own stories.
From autumn 1941, the Jews who remained in the German Reich were systematically deported “to the East”. The deportation order was relentless - one suitcase was allowed, there was hardly any time to sort everything out and say goodbye. Then people were torn from their previous lives. Those who could wrote letters to relatives encouraging them and themselves, but also discussing their worries and fears. Even during the transport, in the ghettos and the camps, people wrote letters and postcards; diaries and chronicles that were created in the situation itself have survived - that is what makes these testimonies so immediate.
Andrea Löw composes a story from the voices of individual people, the reading of which makes the entire monstrosity of the crime emotionally aware. By having their say, people become visible – as mothers, children, grandparents, lovers, young and old. They describe their fears and hopes, the stages leading up to their departure, the transport, and survival in the ghetto. Most of them faced certain death at their destination; the survivors report captivity, escape and rescue. They were all people who had to experience the unimaginable - this book brings them very close to us, with all their courage and their suffering.
If you want to know what lies behind the names and places on the many stumbling blocks in German cities, you will find the people's stories in this book. From Berlin and Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich, Dresden, Stuttgart, Cologne, Hanover, Vienna, Breslau or Stettin and many other places.
Dr. Andrea Löw, born in 1973, worked at the Holocaust Literature Department at the University of Giessen from 2004 to 2007. She has been a research assistant at the Institute for Contemporary History since 2007 and has been deputy director of the Center for Holocaust Studies since 2013. In 2006 her book ›Jews in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto was published. Living conditions, self-perception, behavior', in 2013 she published 'The Warsaw Ghetto' together with Markus Roth. Everyday life and resistance in the face of annihilation.
An event organized by Literatur LIVE in cooperation with S. Fischer Verlag and the Thalia bookstore.
(Program in German)