Diaries have always been important historical sources for researchers as they could have give more information on various aspects, filled some gaps or presented absolutely new facts. Some of them, like Anne Frank's diary, became known in the whole world. Starting from 20 June, you can read entries of various diaries on our Facebook Group for the whole week. Learn more about this new project of the Auschwitz Study Group.
On 12 June 1942 Anne Frank began writing her diary, which destiny was to become one of the most famous books in the world. It represents a crucial testimony of how the Holocaust affected people’s lives: its relevance lies in the fact that it gave a name, an identity and a voice to one victim among the millions of dead. They were not only numbers anymore, they had shared her same fate and people could hear their words in hers.
Many other Jews also wrote diaries, which were found and published later. Even in dangerous situations, often risking their lives, in extremely harsh conditions, they kept writing, some of them every day, some others – once in a while. They were men, women, youngsters from each occupied European country, from every background. Their experiences, though, were the same: unique and unprecedented. This is what compelled them to write and give an immediate testimony of the events they were undergoing. Also the perpetrators wrote personal documents, notes on their activities and beliefs.
Our project focusing on diary entries dating back to the same day in the war years (starting from 20 June) is being conducted by Stefania Zezza, the Auschwitz Study Group contributor. By posting the entries, Stefania would like us to learn history seen by various people as – even if diaries are very subjective documents – they represent a different kind of historical narrative, being a crucial element in the reflection on the Holocaust.