'My mind refuses to play its part in the scholarly exercise. I walk around in a daze, remembering occasionally to take a picture. I've heard that many people cry here, but I am too numb to feel. The wind whips through my wool coat. I am very cold, and I imagine what the wind would have felt like for someone here fifty years ago without coat, boots, or gloves. Hours later as I write, I tell myself a story about the day, hoping it is true, and hoping it will make sense of what I did and did not feel.' _From the Foreword Most of us learn of Auschwitz and the Holocaust through the writings of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel. Remarkable as their stories are, they leave many voices of Auschwitz unheard. Mary Lagerwey seeks to complicate our memory of Auschwitz by reading less canonical survivors: Jean Amery, Charlotte Delbo, Fania Fenelon, Szymon Laks, Primo Levi, and Sara Nomberg-Przytyk. She reads for how gender, social class, and ethnicity color their tellings. She asks whether we can_whether we should_make sense of Auschwitz. And throughout, Lagerwey reveals her own role in her research; tells of her own fears and anxieties presenting what she, a non-Jew born after the fall of Nazism, can only know second-hand. For any student of the Holocaust, for anyone trying to make sense of the final solution, Reading Auschwitz represents a powerful struggle with what it means to read and tell stories after Auschwitz.
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Series Editors Introduction
Borrowed Memories and Grand Narratives
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Amery Amery's Anne Frank Arendt arrival at Auschwitz Auschwitz stories Auschwitz survivor Bakhtin barracks Bergen-Belsen Birkenau chaos chapter Charlotte Delbo Clara collective concentration camp cultural death Delbo tells describes Dutch Elie Wiesel English ethnicity exhibit Fania Fenelon feel female feminist Frank's diary French friends gender German girl grand narratives grotesque hell Holocaust stories horror human identity ideology images individual intellectual Jean Amery Jewish Jews Joan Ringelheim Journal Entry Kapellmeister Kopka Lagerwey language Levi's liberation Lilith listen lived experiences look Madame Butterfly male survivors Mandel Maria Mandel memory mother murdered museum musicians nationality Nazi Nomberg-Przytyk orchestra Oswiecim particular play Polish Primo Levi Przytyk Ravensbruck reader reading reality reflect resistance silence speak stories of Auschwitz suffering survival Survival in Auschwitz survivor stories Szymon Laks tion told translated truths understanding universal Westerbork woman women's stories words young