“I shall try to convey to you how I feel. When a spider spins its web, does it not cast the main threads ahead of itself, and then follow along them from behind? The main path of my life stretches like a long journey before me and already reaches into another world. As if I was now helping to build a new and different society.” Etty Hillesum (15 January 1914 in Middelburg, Netherlands – 30 November 1943 in Auschwitz, Poland) was a young Jewish woman whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943, describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation. She refused to be “saved” by her friends, refused to go into hiding, believing that she could understand a tiny bit of her time only by living it.

She kept her diaries not for herself. She compared herself to a spider that weaves a web to leave it. She was casting a spiderweb for the future generation.

Thank you for the inspiring evening, Roman Kroke! I know from you that Etty was all about her written words, it was not about herself. I’m not using her portrait in my post.




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