‘The kind of spirit that people still kept’: VHA testimonies of Amsterdam’s Diamond Jews

Dawn Skorczewski*, Bettine Siertsema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A higher percentage of Dutch Jews were exterminated in death camps during World War II than from any Western European country except Germany. Although scholars address myriad aspects of this vexing history, silences remain regarding how certain Dutch groups managed to survive. For example, Dutch historiographies devote fewer than a dozen pages to the 100 surviving members of Amsterdam’s Diamond Group, which included over 1000 individuals in 1940. This study of 19 testimonies recorded by the VHA in the 1990s reveals a deeply textured narrative of their wartime experiences and considers how the idea of choice figures as memorial and survival strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-84
Number of pages23
JournalHolocaust Studies
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online date6 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Bergen-Belsen
  • choiceless choices
  • Dutch Diamond Jews
  • microhistory collective memory

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