Books and films about Nazi Germany (or Occupied territories like the Netherlands) and the Holocaust really do something to me. I guess they might affect lots of folks similarly. But I feel this strange connection, always have since childhood, and have experienced what might be interpreted as past life memories in non orthodox Christian circles. Who knows what they are? It's of no importance really. They're just there.
I bought Elie Wiesel's Night the other day, and have just finished reading Etty Hillesum's Diary and Letters. I find her remarkable. Such life, such spirit, an awareness of God which is true and uncontrived. Her relationship with the unorthodox Jungian guru, Julius Spier, which profoundly changes her outlook and helps her gain a positive and utterly courageous view of the awful events building around her, is truly fascinating. Her prose is beautiful. She wanted to be a proper writer eventually, but this is proper writing - so honest and insightful, full of inner vision. The letters she wrote from Westerbrok, the camp from which Jews were sent to Auschwitz and where she volunteered, are heart breakingly poignant, one in particular where she speaks of the need to face the atrocity in order to process it and emerge from it stronger and more human. It appears she became quite a figure in Westerbrok, sheltering those less well equipped like a mother. She was eventually killed at Auschwitz in 1943.
I love her. She is in my bloodstream now. I feel as if I know her and will carry her spirit into whatever difficulties I might face in life myself. Get to know her too. She's wonderful.
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