Etty Hillesum

Commissioned by Mickey Mangan

Etty Hillesum
Known as “the mystic of the Holocaust”

“There are moments when I feel like giving up or giving in, but I soon rally again and do my duty as I see it: to keep the spark of life inside me ablaze.”–Etty

Older contemporary to Anne Frank, Etty Hillesum is known for her diaries which beautifully illustrate her search for meaning and purpose. Even though undergoing feelings of immense pain and sorrow she extended a real tenderness and hope toward herself and all those around her while still acknowledging the reality of the Nazi occupation and Jewish Holocaust. On September 7, 1943, Etty and her family were placed on a transport train to Poland. From a window of the train she tossed out a postcard that read, “We have left the camp singing.”She died in Auschwitz on November 30, at the age of twenty-nine.