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Women's Experiences in the Holocaust: In Their Own Words

Agnes Grunwald-Spier



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Amberley Publishing
15 January 2019
Memoirs; History; The Holocaust; Second World War
This book brings to light women's experiences in the Holocaust. It explains why women's difficulties were different to those of men. Men were taken away and the women were left to cope with children and elderly relatives and obliged to take on new roles. Women like Andrew Sachs' mother had to deal with organising departure for a foreign country and making choices about what to take and what to abandon. The often desperate hunt for food for themselves and those in their care more often than not fell to the women, as did medical issues. They had to face pregnancies, abortions and, in some camps, medical experiments. Many women wrote diaries, memoirs, letters and books about their experiences and these have been used extensively here. The accounts include women who fought or worked in the resistance, like Zivia Lubetkin who was part of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Dr Gisella Perl was a doctor in Auschwitz under the infamous Dr Mengele. Some young girls acted as Kashariyot, underground couriers between ghettos. Their varied experiences represent the extremities of human suffering, endeavour and courage. The author herself is a survivor, born in 1944. Her mother struggled to keep her safe in the mayhem of the Budapest Ghetto when she was a tiny baby and dealt with the threat from Russian soldiers after the liberation of Budapest in January 1945.
By:   Agnes Grunwald-Spier
Imprint:   Amberley Publishing
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
Weight:   314g
ISBN:   9781445689418
ISBN 10:   1445689413
Pages:   392
Publication Date:   15 January 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Agnes Grunwald-Spier was born in July 1944 and sent to the Budapest Ghetto with her mother in November 1944. She was liberated, aged 6 months, and came to England in 1947. Her father, who had been a forced labourer, committed suicide in 1955. Agnes is a Founder Trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for her work on the Holocaust. She has an MA in Holocaust Studies at Sheffield University and was a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews for 15 years. She will receive two honorary doctorates in 2018 for her work on the Holocaust.

Reviews for Women's Experiences in the Holocaust: In Their Own Words

'Agnes Grunwald-Spier examines comprehensively the experiences and contributions of women in the many roles and guises in which they acted. Her book preserves a record of suffering, endurance, courage and achievement without which no-one can hope to understand the totality of the Holocaust as a historical reality.' -- Ben Barkow, Director of the Wiener Library 'In recent years we have seen many fine books on the Holocaust, among them works from Agnes Grunwald-Spier. Few have looked at the experience of women. As a writer and a doughty campaigner Agnes's clear eye and wonderful prose have made the Holocaust accessible to a new generation. This new book will, I am certain, give a neglected part of the most shameful act of the twentieth century the scrutiny it deserves.' -- Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles, UK Special Envoy On Post-Holocaust Issues 'Agnes Grunwald-Spier's books are always very well researched and her convincing arguments are deployed against the background of her own history as a child survivor. What is more, her books are very well written and make fantastic reading.' -- Sascha Feuchert, Professor of Holocaust Literature at Giessen University, Hesse, Germany 'A woman protects her children. Now that is true for any woman anywhere. She pushes others, she fights for them. This is not specific to Jews. But in this extreme circumstance it changes a Jewish tradition. She draws strength from certain types of Jewish traditions, and opposes others in order to fight. Jewish women (for the first time for thousands of years in Jewish communities) assumed leadership positions. Politically, Jewish women had always been disenfranchised, but in the Holocaust, there was no room for this disenfranchisement. They became leaders of political and social groups in France, Holland, Bohemia and Slovakia, as well as the underground groups in Eastern Europe.' -- Professor Yehuda Bauer

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