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At the Edge of the Abyss: A Concentration Camp Diary, 1943-1944

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At the Edge of the Abyss: A Concentration Camp Diary, 1943-1944 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Finalist for 2012 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category

David Koker's diary is one of the most notable accounts of life in a German concentration camp written by a Jew during the years of the Holocaust. First brought to attention when the Dutch historian Jacob Presser-Koker's history teacher in high school-quoted from Koker's diary in his monumental history, published in English as The Destruction of the Dutch Jews (1968), the diary itself became a part of the Dutch literary canon when it was published in 1977 as Dagboek geschreven in Vught (Diary Written in Vught). It has remained in print ever since, and is notable for its literary qualities, weaving poetry and powerful observations of the emotional life of a camp prisoner, including reflections after an in-person visit by Heinrich Himmler. Surprisingly, the book has never before been translated into English.

During his time in the Vught concentration camp, the 21-year-old David recorded on an almost daily basis his observations, thoughts, and feelings. He mercilessly probed the abyss that opened around him and, at times, within himself. David's diary covers almost a year, both charting his daily life in Vught as it developed over time and tracing his spiritual evolution as a writer. Until early February 1944, David was able to smuggle some 73,000 words from the camp to his best friend Karel van het Reve, a non-Jew. 

With an informative introduction, annotation, and list of dramatis personae by Robert Jan van Pelt, At the Edge of the Abyss offers an immediate and wholly original look into the life of a concentration camp prisoner.

Synopsis:

Finalist for 2012 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category

During his time in the Vught concentration camp, the 21-year-old David recorded on an almost daily basis his observations, thoughts, and feelings. He mercilessly probed the abyss that opened around him and, at times, within himself. David's diary covers almost a year, both charting his daily life in Vught as it developed over time and tracing his spiritual evolution as a writer. Until early February 1944, David was able to smuggle some 73,000 words from the camp to his best friend Karel van het Reve, a non-Jew. 

About the Author

David Koker was transported to the Vught Concentration Camp in 1943. During his time in Vught, David recorded on an almost daily basis his observations, thoughts and feelings. Unlike Anne Frank, who had a purposefully made diary book available in her hiding place, David did not have such a luxury in the camp. He wrote his entries on whatever scraps of paper he was able to find. Most of the paper was the rolling paper for cigarettes-available as the result of a lack of cigarette tobacco. Until early February 1944, David was able to smuggle some 73,000 words from the camp to his best friend Karel van het Reeve, a non-Jew. The part of the diary that David kept between 8 February 1944 and June 1944, when he was deported to Poland, did not survive the war.

Table of Contents

Part One: Hineni! David Koker and his Diary Part Two: David Koker's Diary Written in Vught Winter (February 11, 1943 to March 20, 1943) Spring (March 21, 1943 to June 19, 1943) Summer (June 29, 1943 to September 1, 1943) Fall (September 24, 1943 to December 16, 1943) Winter (December 22, 1943 to February 8, 1944) Part Three The Final Year Dramatis Personae Bibliography

Product Details

ISBN:
9780810126367
Author:
Koker, David
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Author:
Horn, Michiel
Author:
Irons, John
Author:
Pelt, Robert Jan, Van
Author:
Van Pelt, Robert Jan
Subject:
Holocaust
Subject:
World History-Holocaust
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Jewish Lives
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8
Pages:
410
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Holocaust

At the Edge of the Abyss: A Concentration Camp Diary, 1943-1944 New Hardcover
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Product details 410 pages Northwestern University Press - English 9780810126367 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Finalist for 2012 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category

During his time in the Vught concentration camp, the 21-year-old David recorded on an almost daily basis his observations, thoughts, and feelings. He mercilessly probed the abyss that opened around him and, at times, within himself. David's diary covers almost a year, both charting his daily life in Vught as it developed over time and tracing his spiritual evolution as a writer. Until early February 1944, David was able to smuggle some 73,000 words from the camp to his best friend Karel van het Reve, a non-Jew. 

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