During World War II, Edith Velmans, a Jewish girl in Holland, was hidden by a Dutch Calvinist family in Breda. She survived, as did her diaries and letters. The woman who hid her was made a righteous gentile by the state of Israel. The story is told by Edith with quotes from her diaries/letters.
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It's strange how much you can bear, if your doom is parcelled out to you in small doses. It's just like poison: if you start taking it very gradually, increasing the quantity drop by drop, then your body will eventually get used to it. So wrote Edith van Hessen's father during the years that were to change his middle-class Dutch family irrevocably. For the van Hessens were Jewish, and to be Jewish in Holland in 1940 was becoming increasingly dangerous. Teenager Edith, preoccupied with school, boys, and parties, tried at first to brush off the threat that the German invasion of her country held for her and thousands like her, even when, under new jurisdictions, normal life became increasingly difficult for the Jewish community to sustain. Eventually, in the summer of 1942, she parted from her family and went into hiding in the south of Holland, where she lived, under an assumed identity, with a Christian family until after the Second World War.
The rest of her family were not so lucky. Edith's Book, a worthy companion to Anne Frank's world-famous Diary of a Young Girl, traces her family history during the horrendous years of war and separation through recollection, cherished letters from her brothers and parents, and her own diary--kept in secret, recovered when the war was over and now published for the first time.
An unflinchingly honest, heartbreaking memoir, Edith's Book is not simply a testament to individual bravery and the will to survive, but a harrowing reminder that we must never forget the horrors of the Holocaust and the lessons that history should teach us. -- Catherine Taylor
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140276890