A Last Message from Etty Hillesum
From the collection of the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
h 9 cm x w 14 cm
On 7 September 1943, a freight train with 987 Jews aboard departed from the Westerbork Transit Camp in the east of the Netherlands to the Auschwitz Concentration and Extermination Camp in occupied Poland. Sitting on her backpack in an overcrowded railway car, twenty-nine-year-old Etty Hillseum wrote this postcard to her friend Christine who lived in Deventer. ‘We have left the camp singing...’ she entrusted to paper. Then she threw the card from the train – her last sign of life.
Etty Hilversum most likely died on 30 November 1943. Also her parents and brothers were murdered in Auschwitz. The diary that Etty kept during the occupation and the many letters she wrote, also from Camp Westerbork, were of high literary quality. After the war they were published in more than ten languages.