The Diaries Of Genocide Victims (And Not Only Anne Frank’s) Are Both Compelling And Important

“Nothing collapses the distance between the reader and the historical past quite like a diary. Written in the moment, as events unfold, it captures the details of daily life that inevitably get lost in later accounts by historians and even survivors. What did people eat and how much? … What was the mood of the ghetto from one day to the next? What were the daily hardships and the occasional reprieves? These insights are rarely found in any other source. In addition, some writers had literary ambitions beyond just documenting their days …, grappling with the biggest questions of what it means to be human in a cruel world.”