Etty Hillesum: A Life Transformed

Etty Hillesum: A Life Transformed

by Patrick Woodhouse
     
 

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On 8 March 1941, a 27-year-old Jewish Dutch student living in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam made the first entry in a diary that was to become one of the most remarkable documents to emerge from the Nazi Holocaust. Over the course of the next two and a half years, an insecure, chaotic and troubled young woman was transformed into someone who inspired those with whom she…  See more details below

Overview

On 8 March 1941, a 27-year-old Jewish Dutch student living in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam made the first entry in a diary that was to become one of the most remarkable documents to emerge from the Nazi Holocaust. Over the course of the next two and a half years, an insecure, chaotic and troubled young woman was transformed into someone who inspired those with whom she shared the suffering of the transit camp at Westerbork and with whom she eventually perished at Auschwitz. Through her diary and letters, she continues to inspire those whose lives she has touched since. She was an extraordinarily alive and vivid young woman who shaped and lived a spirituality of hope in the darkest period of the twentieth century. This book explores Etty Hillesum's life and writings, seeking to understand what it was about her that was so remarkable, how her journey developed, how her spirituality was shaped, and what her profound reflections on the roots of violence and the nature of evil can teach us today.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Etty Hillesum was born in the Netherlands in 1914 and died in Auschwitz in 1943. Woodhouse (Beyond Words: An Introduction, Guide and Resource for a Contemplative Way of Prayer) uses Hillesum's diaries and letters to describe her friends, lovers, readings, and interior life during the German occupation of the Netherlands. Her experiences as the only daughter of a troubled assimilated Jewish married couple who had two mentally ill sons are honestly discussed. Hillesum's views of God and her acceptance of suffering and sorrow allowed her to redeem life and love in the midst of death and despair. Woodhouse describes the outer life and inner thoughts of Hillesum, portraying her as a mystic and moral saint. The final chapter is devoted to the lessons and teachings Hillesum can give to contemporary humanity. VERDICT This serves as a good introduction to Hillesum, especially for readers interested in difficult contemplations about life. Academics will be better served by collections of Hillesum's writings (e.g., An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork).—Gene Shaw, NYPL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781408183472
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
01/17/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,084,783
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Patrick Woodhouse is a writer and an Anglican priest. He was for thirteen years a Canon of Wells Cathedral. He has also worked as a parish priest, and a social responsibility adviser in two Anglican dioceses. His publications include Beyond Words, a guide to a contemplative way of prayer, and With You is the Well of Life, a collection of prayers for private and public use (both published by Kevin Mayhew.) He now lives in south Somerset.
Patrick Woodhouse is a writer and Anglican priest. He was for thirteen years a Canon of Wells Cathedral. He has also been a parish priest, and a social responsibility adviser in two Anglican dioceses. He is the author of Etty Hillesum, a Life Transformed (Bloomsbury Continuum 2009). He lives in Somerset.

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