Interrupted Life And Letters From Westerbork Throughout Term Paper

Length: 5 pages Subject: Literature Type: Term Paper Paper: #37500155 Related Topics: Holocaust, Life Support, End Of Life, Jung
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork

Throughout my academic career, I avoided dealing with the monumental human tragedy known as the Holocaust. History classes required that I read sterile, chronicled information, learn names and dates, and understand the causes and results. History classes have never required that I read a first-hand account of the horrors of a Jewish woman in this inhuman and appalling era and reflect upon it.

As I read, there were moments that I had to put the book aside and get my mind on something else. It is inconceivable that such suffering and carnage was accepted, supported, or denied by the people of the world. I was sometimes nauseous and sometimes tearful. However, along with the misery and bloodshed of the Holocaust, Etty Hillesum is able to convey a joy in living, appreciation for the moment, and love of humanity in her book An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork.

Etty Hillesum was a Dutch Jew from Amsterdam. Her life might have been unremarkable and her story might never have been told had she not been an aspiring writer. Through these letters and diary entries, I watched a young woman in her mid and late twenties for almost three years until she died at Auschwitz in 1943. Her book begins about nine months after Hitler's Germany invaded the Netherlands. In addition to her diary, she wrote letters to her loved ones from Westerbork Detention Camp, where Jews were confined before being taken to the death camps. "If I have one duty in these times," she asserted, "it is to bear witness.

Etty Hillesum wrote about the little things in her life, like eating breakfast. She also wrote the same things that all young women write about -- men and romance. Considering her circumstances, I expected that much of her day was spent anticipating her empty future and contemplating when she was going to die. Her

...

Although many of her romantic passages were comparable to any young woman in love, this relationship had a profound impact on her ability to reach deep inside her and record these emotions.

S. was actually Julius Spier, a psychotherapist who had studied with Carl Jung. Spier was her closest friend and her lover. She was both captivated and conflicted over him. She spoke of her physical desire for S. And conversely, her aspiration for a spiritual union devoid of eroticism. However, her deep emotional attachment for S. was the impetus for her soul-searching contemplation and her ability to grow and love in an environment of death.

Etty Hillesum described herself as "a soul without a skin." She had overwhelming sensitivity and was attuned to her environment and her deepest thoughts. It is this awareness coupled with her love of life that makes An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork a less disturbing, but more intense accounting of the individual lives of people in these extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances. This book captures the horror and the beauty of her existence. Her personal musings and profound internal discoveries are extraordinary accomplishments during horrendous times. Her diary begins with the statement, "I am accomplished in bed." This could be the speculation of any young vital woman. She is able to convey an everyday complexion to her brutal state of being.

Hillesum describes herself as impulsive, whimsical, and brilliant in the first half of the book. Her overriding thoughts were of her passion for Julius Spier. However, the time came when Dutch Jews were required to wear yellow stars for identification. Hillesum became more pragmatic about her circumstances and more philosophical about her mission in this life. As the Nazis harassed and repressed the Dutch Jews, she drew strength from her faith. "When I pray," she explained, "I hold a silly, naive, or deadly serious dialogue with what is deepest inside me, which for the sake of convenience I call God."

She never retreated from the world around her or her many friends. She claimed that

"Thinking gets you nowhere. It may be a fine and noble aid in academic studies,…

Cite this Document:

"Interrupted Life And Letters From Westerbork Throughout" (2002, February 15) Retrieved June 22, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/interrupted-life-and-letters-from-westerbork-55700

"Interrupted Life And Letters From Westerbork Throughout" 15 February 2002. Web.22 June. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/interrupted-life-and-letters-from-westerbork-55700>

"Interrupted Life And Letters From Westerbork Throughout", 15 February 2002, Accessed.22 June. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/interrupted-life-and-letters-from-westerbork-55700

Related Documents
Carl Jung's Theory: Carl Gustav Jung Is
Words: 1510 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 57210950

Carl Jung's Theory: Carl Gustav Jung is a well-known pioneer of analytical psychology who was born in 1875 in Kesswil, Switzerland and the only child of a Swiss clergyman. His early family life played a critical role in shaping his theory as the huge focus placed on religion by his family contributed to the spiritual aspects of his theory. This is despite of his statement that he was bored by this

Carl Jung's Focus on Providing
Words: 541 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Family and Marriage Paper #: 55910156

Several days ago another friend of mine spoke about how he dreamed about him being a Chinese peasant in charge of a farm. He planted seeds into the ground and felt that the seeds were created by his soul rather than being ordinary seeds. He then saw several farm animals furiously coming toward him and wanting to harm him. This friend's family emigrated from China at the beginning of the twentieth

Carl Jung the Theory of
Words: 1681 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 24931228

He states, No one with the faintest glimmering of mythology could possibly fail to see the startling parallels between the unconscious fantasies brought to light by the psychoanalytic school and mythological ideas." (Jung, par 316). The Theory of Psychoanalysis is presented in an organized fashion that is clear and concise. Jung addresses his points in a logical order. Jung's order of presentation was dependent upon that of Freud and his closely

Carl Jung and Personality Carl
Words: 2306 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 6335581

One of the most common uses of employment tests is in the area of employment. Many employers use personality tests as a means to assess potential job candidates for their suitability, honesty, and loyalty to a future employer. Individual experience and interpretation can skew answers in such as manner as to render these tests unreliable. For instance, a person who is naturally unassertive might view the actions of an

Jung Carl Jung: Theory &
Words: 2689 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 880340

The self, then, does not stem from individual experience but rather from what has been called "early psychosomatic unity" (Urban 2008). The existence of these many archetypes -- the shadow, the anima/animus, the mother, etc. -- in all people is evidence for Jung's concept of the collective unconscious. These universal archetypes do not come from individual experiences or conscious awareness. Instead, they are entirely unconscious and present in all people,

Carl Jung's Theory of the
Words: 1119 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 94125234

The patient's behaviors are not however, atypical in relation to his experiences. He is just one of many individuals who find themselves immersed in alienation because they cannot live up to the high expectations placed on them by society, and in turn, by themselves. These childhood drives to reach "the highest truths and values" (Palmer, 1999) are often thwarted by personal failures. When one's role in life does not match