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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:44:53 EDT by admin, 77403 views
Georgia State University
History paper by Friedmann, Robert (all papers)
Personal Letters as Historical Data Sources
Twenty eight letters written by Renee to her younger sister Edith, who left home prior to the deportation, were discovered in 1999 following Edith’s death. The letters were written between 1941 and 1947 and reflect pre-deportation, Holocaust, and post-Holocaust years. They were written in and sent from Hungary, Sweden and Romania to Palestine. While the letters are personal and intimate in nature, their analysis reveals a valuable and rich documentation of personal accounts, perceptions, and perspective of an individual caught in the midst of overwhelming historical forces and a measure of personal coping and persevering against seemingly insurmountable challenges. The letters open a window to how people who lived through the turbulence of the deportation, the Holocaust, the infliction of Communism, and the tyranny of the British Mandate in Palestine, coped with the challenge of living beyond surviving. The letters reveal a wide gamut of attributes such as determination, integrity, dignity, aspiration, and above all, a desire to live “on calmer waters.” The letters comprise a historical document that serves as a valuable source to understand processes and outcomes of experiences for which living personal accounts become a rarity.
Brief Professional Bio:
Robert Friedmann is Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice and Director, Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.