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Thais Sher presents a fascinating insight into the life and work of Dutch mystic, diarist and Holocaust victim, Etty Hillesum.

Etty Hillesum chronicled the events in Amsterdam of the Dutch Nazi occupation. She made a special spiritual transcendence throughout the course of these years. Along with her close circle of friends, many of whom were not Jewish, she tried to retain her way of life. Her cultured evenings of music making and concert going, and her visits to the fine art museums, but slowly her world became smaller and more confined.

By late 1942, she was left malnourished, without any freedom to roam the streets and with only her few possessions - her valued books by writers such as Jung, Dostoyevsky and The Bible, a few pot plants - and of course this diary she kept, to keep her comforted. Etty perished in one of the Nazi death camps in 1943.

The programme also briefly delves into the life of her long-term friend and lover, Julius Spier. It also mentions her brother, Micha Hillesum, who was a successful concert pianist and composer at that time in Holland.

Presented by Thais Sher.

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27 minutes

Last on

Mon 19 Nov 2012 03:32GMT


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