Hélène Berr, A Stolen Life
March 1, 2017 – April 30, 2017

helene_berr


This exhibition presented by the Reno Northwest Library is based on the journal written by Hélène Berr, a young Jewish French woman, whose promising future was brutally cut short by Vichy Government’s laws and the extermination plan imagined by the Nazis. Studying English Literature at Sorbonne University, Helene Berr was 21 years old when she began her journal. We follow her steps through Paris under the German Occupation, perceiving the daily experience of the unbearable, oscillating between hope and despair, until her arrest and deportation to Auschwitz in 1944.

While revealing a true premonition of the inescapable, this subtle testimony is exceptionally poetic, has rare literary qualities, and carries a universal dimension that regards and questions every human being with sincerity. The exhibition however goes beyond the framework of Helene Berr’s journal and personality, as it broadens the context of the Occupation and addresses largely the persecution of the Jews in France. With the support of photographs, archives, films, interactive animations and maps, this exhibition shows how the daily lives of Jews had been impacted by these terrible acts of violence.


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