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In early 1943, Mirjam Levie, a young Jewish woman from Amsterdam, began to write letters to her fiance, Leo Bolle, who had immigrated to Eretz Israel a few years earlier. Her letters, which were never sent, were written during the deportations of the Jews from Amsterdam; during her incarceration in Westerbork, the main transit camp for Jewish deportees to the death camps in Poland; and during her imprisonment in Bergen-Belsen. As secretary in the controversial “Jewish Council of Amsterdam”, Mirjam’s letters are the only source remaining to describe events from the viewpoint of one of its members. Mirjam managed to hide the letters she wrote in Amsterdam and Westerbork; and those she wrote in Bergen-Belsen she brought with her when she was released as part of an exchange between Dutch Jews and German POWs, and arrived in Eretz Israel on 10 July 1944. The book presents a series of letters – unique in their historical interest and extremely moving in their human dimension – forming a personal diary of real time.
Edited by Daniel Fraenkel