on 8 January 2014
This in't the kind of book that anyone can read lightly or indeed quickly. It is in every real sense the journal of a soul. Rowan Williams in his book Tokens of Trust says that Etty Hillesum is one of the most striking believers of the 20th century. Etty is one of the many who made God believable by their resistance to the nightmares of totalitarianism and violence as demonstrated by Hitler and his followers. Etty Hillesum was a young Jewish woman, in her twenties when the Nazis occupied Holland. She wasn't a pious or conventional religious person with a specific commitment to a church or synagogue. These excerpts from her diaries from 1941 to 1943 show how during this terrible time in the history of her country and people, she became more and more conscious of God's hand on her life. It was a time when most would have been likely to feel more deeply sceptical about God. She was murdered at Auschwitz in the gas chambers of the Third Reich.
on 6 April 2010
A very welcome chance to explore further the personality of one of the great saints, not just of the Holocaust, but of the 20th Century. Thank God Etty was a compulsive writer! Such insight, into God, into herself, into others. And such humour. My only criticism of the book is that it could be longer, but it bears plenty of re-reading.