Hélène Berr

Hélène Berr’s diary Journal was published in 2008. Like Madeleine Blaess, she was a student in the Arts Faculty at the Sorbonne in Paris. Jewish, she was arrested with her parents in March 1944. She was deported to Auschwitz and was finally murdered in Bergen Belsen weeks before the Allies liberated the camp in April 1945.  She and Madeleine were friends and there are a number of poignant references to Hélène in Blaess’s diary. There are also a number of references to Françoise Bernheim, a mutual friend of  both Hélène and Madeleine, who was arrested in July 1943, deported and murdered in Auschwitz within weeks of her arrival.

The connection between Madeleine, Hélène and the student milieu of the Sorbonne during the Occupation is the subject of a forthcoming article currently under review. Check back shortly for more details.

The Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris produced a fabulous on line exhibition about  Hélène Berr which is available here.

I was honoured to be asked by the Mémorial de la Shoah to write the English subtitles for this exhibition when it showed at the UN in New York in 2011. It has since been taken to the French Embassy in Washington. There are plans to take it to other major cities across the United States.

For further information about this project please use the form below or e-mail me direct at the University of Sheffield w.michallat@shef.ac.uk

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