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Why Poetry?

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Shelves of history books on the Holocaust and the Second World War have been written, especially in the closing decades of the 20th century. And they are still being written by historians of every ilk, in different languages on different aspects and with various interpretations. The facts are innumerable and will continue to rivet the attention of scholars.

So why poetry? What does poetry offer that historical accounts don’t, or can’t… I would say we’re talking about the experience of going through the trauma, the texture of feeling that can be provided by an involved observer or a survivor who is able to pen his feelings or emotions from the time of the event. It is the immediacy of the narrative that is conveyed in this manner, the rawness of exposure that we might more easily be able to penetrate from a poetic description than from tomes of history books.

We will provide examples of poems written by survivors, victims, Jews, non-Jews, some written before, some during and some after the Holocaust.

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Poetry and the Holocaust

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