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Etty Hillesum: A Portrait Of A Holocaust Artist

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Chapter Summary

The new definitive English edition of Etty Hillesum's writings is undoubtedly a major contribution to the study of the Holocaust. This chapter focuses on Etty Hillesum's evolution as an artist, and more specifically, her evolution as a thinking writer, a writer with a well-examined, thoughtful message to the world. Hillesum's growth as a thinking artist evolved in two stages and roughly in two places. The first stage, which the author calls the stage of preparation, took place in Amsterdam; at this stage, she prepared to face the reality of the ultimate destruction through self-exploration as thinker and artist. The second stage, which the author calls the stage of the test, began with Hillesum's first departure for Camp Westerbork. In the reality of the deportation camp, Hillesum put to test both her ethical perspective and her art she had been striving to shape in defiance of the increasing Nazi terror.

Keywords: Etty Hillesum; Holocaust; thinking artist



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