A unique, deeply political survivor’s diary from the final year inside the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Hanna Levy-Hass, a Yugoslavian Jew, emerged a defiant survivor of the Holocaust. Her observations shed new light on the lived experience of Nazi internment. Levy-Hass stands alone as the only resistance fighter to report on her own experience inside the camps, and she does so with unflinching clarity in dealing with the political and social divisions inside Bergen-Belsen.
Amira Hass, the only Israeli journalist living in and writing from within the Occupied Territories, offers a substantial introduction to her mother’s work.
Praise for Hanna Levy-Hass and Diary of Bergen-Belsen
A compelling document of historic importance which shows, with remarkable composure, that ethical thought about what it means to be human can be sustained in the most inhuman conditions. Hanna Levy-Hass teaches us how a politics of compassion and justice can rise out of the camps as the strongest answer to the horrors of the twentieth century.”Jacqueline Rose, historian, Queen Mary University of London; author, The Question of Zion
Diary of Bergen-Belsen is a poignant testimonial whose direct and clear-eyed observations on life in Hell belong in the select company of Primo Levi and Margarete Buber-Neumann, whose recently translated Under Two Dictators is the only comparable account in English of the female experience at Bergen-Belsen. Hannah Levy-Hass was clearly a quite extraordinary woman brave, honest, and undiminished in her idealism and hopes: qualities that also characterize her daughter Amira, a fearless Israeli journalist who introduces the Diary with a moving account of her mother’s life and death.”Tony Judt, historian; University Professor and Director of The Remarque Institute, New York University; author, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
Diary of Bergen-Belsen vividly captures the tempestuous spirits of one of the darkest places on earth during one of the darkest times in history. Hanna Levy-Hass writes with captivation of unthinkable brutality. Her careful writings have created an unforgettable and indispensable chronicle that will live on for generations. She will help us remember, and to never forget.”Edwin Black, author, IBM and the Holocaust
No other diary carries quite the same lessons of moral courage and political urgency as Levy-Hass’s does, with her repeated attempts to salvage some form of solidarity out of the abyss of depravity and selfish individualism that engulfed Belsen’s inmates. This new edition includes a powerful foreword and afterword by Levy-Hass’s daughter, Amira, who, without sentimentality or false analogy, links the struggles of her own present with those of her mother’s past.”Jane Caplan, Professor of Modern European History, Oxford University
The history of the Holocaust is often reduced to a simple conflict between the persecutors and their victims, but it was a much more complex process. It was also the history of the struggle against the barbarism of Twentieth century: and that is the reason why this diary is so important to us.”Enzo Traverso, historian, University of Picardie, France; author, The Origins of Nazi Violence
Born in Sarajevo, Hanna Levy-Hass was an activist in the resistance to the German occupation of Yugoslavia. She was taken by the Nazis from Montenegro to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944. Her diary has been published in many languages.
Amira Hass, the daughter of Hanna Levy-Hass, is an Israeli journalist who is best known for her columns in Ha’aretz. She is the author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza and has received many awards for her writing.
About Hanna Levy-Hass
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Published June 1, 2009
by Haymarket Books.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War.