How the diaries of Helene Berr, the 'Anne Frank of France,' came to be published





'It is raining Death on earth," Hélène Berr wrote in her journal on November 1, 1943.

She was a young Parisian student, a Jew, whose friends were daily disappearing to the concentration camps and she knew the net was tightening. Rumours had reached her that asphyxiating gas was being administered to convoys of Jewish deportees at the Polish border.

"To think that every person arrested yesterday, today, this very minute," she wrote, "is probably destined to suffer this terrible fate. To think that it is not over yet, that it continues with diabolical regularity.

"To think that if I am arrested this evening (which I have been expecting for ages now), in a week's time I'll be in Upper Silesia, maybe dead, and my whole life, with the infinity I sense within me, will be snuffed out..."

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