Were these diarists resisters, or did the process of writing make the ravages of the Holocaust even more difficult to bear? Drawing on an astonishing array of unpublished and published diaries from all over German-occupied Europe, historian Alexandra Garbarini explores the multiple roles that diary writing played in the lives of these ordinary women and men. A story of hope and hopelessness, Numbered Days offers a powerful examination of the complex interplay of writing and mourning. And in these heartbreaking diaries, we see the first glimpses of a question that would haunt the twentieth century: Can such unimaginable horror be represented at all?
“A brilliant, thoughtful, and groundbreaking study of adult diarists writing during the Holocaust.”—Alexandra Zapruder, author of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust
"This book provides an important insight into the inner world of Jews as they suffered through the Holocaust. It moved me time and again."—Michael Berenbaum, author of The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
“Alexandra Garbarini's Numbered Days is a path-breaking study. Based essentially on unpublished diaries written by Jews during the Holocaust in several occupied European countries, East and West, Garbarini brilliantly demonstrates how important such testimonies are not only for our understanding of individual fate, but also as sources for the history of the collective fate of European Jews during those years. This book will appeal to both the general reader and historians for many years to come.”—Saul Friedlander, UCLA
- Runner-up for the 2006 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust