Wartime Yiddish diaries and their postwar trajectories

This new project is part of the larger project The diaries of Anne Frank. Research—Translations—Critical Edition with which I am involved. As part of the research monograph that will accompany the new scholarly edition of the diaries I aim to contribute a chapter on diary writing by teenagers/ young adults written in Yiddish in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust.

The rationale behind this research project is a comparative one: to many audiences Anne Frank's diaries have become a symbol of the fate of Europe's Jews during the Holocaust. Yet important and powerful as her diaries are, they relate only one specific experience of Jews in hiding in (Western) Europe. The aim of this research is to bring in an Eastern European dimension to balance our understanding of Jewish diary writing during the Holocaust and thus emphasise the variety of experiences of Europe's Jews during the war. By examining the postwar trajectories of Yiddish diaries (which ones were published and translated, both from and into Yiddish) the project will also highlight the ways in which these diaries did, and did not, affect Holocaust memory. The project will result in an article first but is also conceived as a new book project.