Tuesday September 7th. 1943 — Westerbork Holland
Etty was deported to Auschwitz from Westerbork on Tuesday 7th. September 1943. On board the ‘Transport’ she found room enough to write her last letter, a postcard destined to reach her friends. The postcard was thrown from the Train where passersby found it and mailed it on. The postmark; Wednesday 15th. September 1943, addressed to:-
Opening the Bible at random I find this:-
‘The Lord is my high tower’
I am sitting on my rucksack in the middle of a full freight car. Father, Mother and Mischa are a few
cars away. In the end, the departure came without warning, on sudden special orders from The
Hague. We left the camp singing, Father and Mother firmly and calmly, Mischa, too. We shall be
travelling for three days. Thank you for all your kindness and care. Friends left behind will still be
writing to Amsterdam; perhaps you will hear something from them. Or from my last letter from camp.
Good-bye for now from the four of us.”
Etty Hillesum was murdered at Auschwitz on Tuesday 30th. November 1943, 84 days after being ‘Transported East’.
For me this has been a further trauma in my struggle with the Holocaust. I did not want to finish her Book so that I could, in my mind, keep her alive somehow within my imagination. Sadly, in my rush to find out what she had to say next, her work in impressing me had been done and her epitaph is here to be written. I have gone through a metamorphosis of change with the Holocaust.
Where I first sought out anger and even hatred, I can see that Justice is not best served by revenge, but it must be serviced correctly or there is only anger left to seek out redress.