Bearing Witness: A Resource Guide to Literature, Poetry, Art, Music, and Videos by Holocaust Victims and Survivors

By Philip Rosen; Nina Apfelbaum | Go to book overview
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Preface

The writers, artists, and musicians whose works are profiled in this resource guide were selected on the basis of a number of criteria. Each individual was a victim or a survivor under the Nazi heel or of the repression of an ally of the Nazis—victims and survivors of concentration camps and ghettos, members of partisan groups, those in hiding, Jews disguised as Christians, and other victims of Nazi persecution. We have attempted to provide entries representing a variety of firsthand experiences and responses. Only works by those who were there—eyewitnesses to Holocaust history—are included. Some works cited in this book are collections of testimony, narratives, fiction, art, or poetry; each narrative, poem, or artwork in the collection is a firsthand account or artistic interpretation by a victim or survivor of the Holocaust. We have attempted to include those writers and artists who have achieved a degree of international recognition such as writers Charlotte Delbo, Primo Levi, and Elie Wiesel; poets Nellie Sachs and Paul Celan; painters Norbert Troller and Leo Haas; and composers Viktor Ullmann and Herschel Glik. But this resource also includes the work of less well known, unsung, and unrecognized eyewitnesses to history whose literature or art will help the student and other interested people to gain firsthand knowledge of what it was like to be a victim of Nazi persecution in the Holocaust.

This resource spans the entire period of Nazi aggression and genocide, from the early days of Nazi consolidation of power in Germany to the end of World War II. The experiences of writers and artists from many countries are represented, including those of Gentiles who shared the same fate as Jews. The experience of the Jews of Poland, of whom 3 million were killed by the Nazis, is well represented. Works from a va-

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