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The Journal of Helene Berr - Essay Example

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The Journal of Helene Berr is a book that describes the life of a young Jew lady and how the events of that time transformed her. The paper involves writing about a Jewish Young lady by the name of Helene Berr, as it is from the book Journal of Helene Berr. …
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The Journal of Helene Berr

Download file to see previous pages... The book is a compilation of Berr’s diary that took every day of her life during the two years of Jews’ persecution. The book presents persecution of Jews in France during the Nazi era. It accounts for the great suffering of the French Jews during this era. The book shows how the Jews were snatched from the streets and their deportation, and others killings. The book elaborates on the treatment of the Jews during the World War Two. She began writing the diary in 1942 but, the publishing was 63 years after the death of Helene Berr. The author records all the humiliations that the Jews went through in the occupied Paris in the hands of the Nazis. Helene Berr entrusted the diary to the family cook who was to pass to Helene’s fiance.1 Helene Berr was a 21 year old Jew who was pursuing English literature at Sorbonne. She was from a rich Jewish family that was living in France. She lived with her family, which included her parents, elder sister and a domestic worker.2 She was intelligent, brave, loving and passionate about everything that she did and full of talent. There is well presentation of these traits in the book as it flows. During the peaceful times in France, Helene and her family had a decent life that the rich people could afford. Helene had a normal life and socialized with most people in the surrounding society even those who were not of her social class. This is shown by the life she was living by having friends from the school, amateur musicians, her family and how they went for holidays and her maternal grandmother.3 During this time, there were two parts of France; Paris and South France. South was the peaceful state when Paris was unsafe due to occupation of the Nazis. The occupation of the Nazis led to people escaping to the South including Helene’s younger brother Jacques. After the Nazis occupation, life of Helene and that of her family took a new turn in that they could not live in peace anymore. Her father was arrested and deported. This is where her transformation sets in because she had to join Jewish supporters and relief agencies which were her fifth circle of her life. In these agencies, she became friendly to many people who were the front runners in protecting the French Jews. At the agencies, she helped in saving many lives of the Jews who were threatened by the Germans. They took care of the orphans whose parents were arrested and killed. The friendliness is well presented in the book, because of many friends she had in the English studies department, in Sorbonne. This show how humble she was even though she came from a rich French family of Jewish origin. The book also shows how Helene was caring; this is evident where she suppressed feelings towards her fiance who fled to the South so as to stay with the rest of the family and not to act in a cowardly manner. During this period, Helene took the orphans in an aid organization to nature walks and helped in running the headquarters. The act shows how brave she was to stay and identify with the suffering Jews. She was brave enough to put on a yellow star that was used to identify the Jews.4 She develops this change of mind to identify with fellow Jews who were facing persecution. This situation affected Berr’s family life as Helene’s father was arrested and deported. She even stopped schooling and the man she loved fled to the South; this made her lose the things she loved most; her fiance and her studies.5 Helene was a strong person because she survived and lived without the men she loved; her father and her fiance. Helene criticized the French Christians who ignored what was happening to the Jews.6 She advocated for socialism where all people were to be treated in the same manner no ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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