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Life in a concentration camp

July 10, 2012

Keeping on the holocaust theme, David Koker‘s extraordinary diary of life inside a concentration camp, which was smuggled outside of Vught (that it survived is incredible in its own right), is now available in English for the first time.  Koker was a Dutch Jew and at the outbreak of war was a student of Philosophy and History but was forced to give up his studies because of his Jewish heritage.  Although his family had been exempted this made little difference and they were later captured and Koker would eventually die on the way to Dachau in 1945.

In his diary Koker describes an encounter with Himmler, the architect of the Final Solution, on Feb 4, 1944.  He writes:

“A slight, insignificant-looking little man, with a rather good-humored face. High peaked cap, mustache, and small spectacles. I think: If you wanted to trace back all the misery and horror to just one person, it would have to be him. Around him a lot of fellows with weary faces. Very big, heavily dressed men, they swerve along whichever way he turns, like a swarm of flies, changing places among themselves (they don’t stand still for a moment) and moving like a single whole. It makes a fatally alarming impression. They look everywhere without finding anything to focus on.”

You can read a review here.

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