Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust

By Carol Rittner; John K. Roth | Go to book overview

Epilogue

DIFFERENT VOICES

Somewhere amid the forests of Bohemia a birch tree bends its golden hair toward a reddish ruin.
In mourning, hands clasped at its chest.
And yet the bluebells dance around its feet,
And colored cow-wheat smiles upon the powerless dungeon tower, while grasses idle mournfully on buried walks.
Bright coppers flutter past the fallen, sunlit walls of vanished generations.

GERTRUD KOLMAR

As one excavates what Ida Fink called "the ruins of memory," certain images and persons, events and phrases, become emblematic of women and the Holocaust. There is Lulu, that "practical woman" who helped Charlotte Delbo survive Auschwitz when she thought "none of us will return." There is the blanket that Sara Nomberg-Przytyk received from a caring woman during a freezing evacuation from Auschwitz. Or one might recall Theresa Stangl, wife of Treblinka's commandant, or Magda Trocmé, who saved Jews from the fate that Nazi Germany intended all of them to have. One thinks, too, of Myrna Goldenberg's "different horrors, same hell," four words that sum up what women experienced during the "Final Solution." Gertrud Kolmar's question--"You hear me speak. But do you hear me feel?"--is heard and felt as well.

Epitomizing what happened to women during the Holocaust, another episode with power to grip memory in those ways occurred in Auschwitz-

-421-

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Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • ALSO BY CAROL RITTNER AND JOHN K. ROTH ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps and Photographs ix
  • Preface xi
  • Prologue Women and the Holocaust 1
  • General Suggestions for Further Reading 20
  • Chronology 22
  • Part One Voices of Experience 35
  • Notes 39
  • 1: Ida Fink 40
  • 2: Etty Hillesum 46
  • Notes 57
  • 3: Charlotte Delbo 58
  • 4: Isabella Leitner 65
  • 5: Olga Lengyel 69
  • 6: Livia E. Bitton Jackson 73
  • 7: Pelagia Lewinska 84
  • 8: Charlotte Delbo 99
  • 9: Gisella Perl 104
  • 10: Olga Lengyel 119
  • 11: Anna Heilman and Rose Meth 130
  • Notes 134
  • Notes 141
  • 12: Sara Nomberg-Przytyk 143
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 149
  • Part Two Voices of Interpretation 155
  • Notes 159
  • 13: Gisela Bock 161
  • Notes 179
  • 14: Marion A. Kaplan 187
  • Notes 207
  • 15: Sybil Milton 213
  • Notes 237
  • 16: Vera Laska 250
  • Notes 267
  • 17: Gitta Sereny 270
  • Preface 271
  • 18: Claudia Koonz 287
  • Notes 304
  • 19: Magda Trocmeé 309
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 317
  • Part Three Voices of Reflection 319
  • Notes 323
  • 20: Irena Klepfisz 324
  • 21: Charlotte Delbo 328
  • 22: Ida Fink 332
  • 23: Deborah E. Lipstadt 349
  • 24: Mary Jo Leddy 355
  • 25: Rachel Altman 363
  • Notes 372
  • 26: Joan Ringelheim 373
  • Notes 400
  • Appendices 406
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 419
  • Epilogue - Different Voices 421
  • Notes 426
  • Glossary 427
  • Index 431
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