Reading Etty Hillesum in Context

Reading Etty Hillesum in ContextReading Etty Hillesum in Context: Writings, Life, and Influences of a Visionary Author

This is the complete title of this important anthology. The book contains twenty-five essays by nineteen authors, all recognized scholars in their proper fields of reseach and publishing. Many of the contributions appeared for the first time in the Dutch language series Etty Hillesum Studies. Some were translated from other languages.
Editors: Klaas Smelik, Gerrit Van Oord and Jurjen Wiersma
On this page you’ll find the list of contributors and the people who helped to realize the work. Secondly you’ll get to the detailed Table of Contents. The book closes with three appendices: Acknowledgements, Index of Names and Subjects, Index of Citations. It has 524 pages.
Contributions by

Anna Aluffi Pentini
Lotte Bergen
Yves Bériault
Ria van den Brandt
Marja Clement
Meins G.S. Coetsier
Ronald Commers
Denise de Costa
Patricia Couto
Mary Evans
Thalia Gur Klein
Hans Krabbendam
Janny van der Molen
Alexandra H.M. Nagel
Gerrit Van Oord
Piet Schrijvers
Klaas A.D. Smelik
Jurjen Wiersma
Yukiko Yokohata

In cooperation with

Julie Benschop-Plokker
Margaret de Boer
John Cartner
Carolyn Coman
Caroline Diepeveen
Mijke van Leersum
Durk van der Meer
Fanny Mojet
Patrick Schetters
Michael Strange
Ron van Uum
Suzan Waters

Table of Contents


  1. A Short Biography of Etty Hillesum (1914-1943), Klaas A.D. Smelik

The Diaries

  1. To Remember Is to Act: From a Bundle of Notebooks to a Worldwide Publication, Klaas A.D. Smelik
  2. Hineinhorchen and Writing: The Language Use of Etty Hillesum, Marja Clement

War and Persecution

  1. Etty Hillesum’s Choice Not to Go into Hiding, Klaas A.D. Smelik
  2. Agency within Nazi Constraints: Etty Hillesum and Her Interpretation of the Jewish Fate, Lotte Bergen
  3. One Ought to Write a Chronicle of Westerbork: Jurjen Wiersma
  4. The Departure: A Reconstruction of the Unexpected Deportation of the Hillesum Family From Camp Westerbork on Tuesday,
  5. September 1943, Gerrit Van Oord

Reading and Writers

  1. “Aesthetic Mirrors”: Etty Hillesum and Rainer Maria Rilke, Meins G.S. Coetsier
  2. “I Keep Being Drawn towards Jung” : Good and Evil in the Work of Etty Hillesum and Carl Gustav Jung, Janny van der Molen
  3. “To Realize That Life Is Truly Simple” : Etty Hillesum and Walther Rathenau, Jurjen Wiersma

Family and Friends

  1. Romance Down by The River IJssel: The First Meeting between Etty Hillesum and Klaas Smelik Senior, Klaas A.D. Smelik
  2. Etty Hillesum, A Devoted Student of Julius Spier, Alexandra H.M. Nagel
  3. “With You, I Have My Anchorage” : Fifteen Letters From Etty Hillesum to Julius Spier, Alexandra Nagel and Denise de Costa
  4. “Three Times Yes and a Thousand Fold No!” : Julius Spier Writes to Etty Hillesum, Alexandra Nagel and Ria van den Brandt

Reception of Hillesum’s Diaries and Letters

  1. Etty Hillesum in Jewish Contexts, Piet Schrijvers
  2. From Separation to Communitas: Etty Hillesum, A Jewish Perspective, Thalia Gur-Klein
  3. The Invincible Hope of Christian de Chergé and Etty Hillesum, Yves Bériault
  4. Etty Hillesum : Gender, the Modern and the Literature of the Holocaust, Mary Evans
  5. America in The Shade : Etty Hillesum As Mediator Between the Cold War Perspectives on the Holocaust, Hans Krabbendam
  6. Perceptions of Etty Hillesum in Japan, Yukiko Yokohata
  7. Saint, Cyber Phenomenon, Thinker, or Poet : Etty Hillesum in Portugal, Patricia Couto
  8. Bright Orange and Crimson : How a Dutch Dissertation on Etty Hillesum Was Coloured by French Philosophy, Denise de Costa
  9. Ulrich Beck and Etty Hillesum, Klaas A.D. Smelik
  10. Loving-Kindness, Hatred, and Moral Indignation : Etty Hillesum and Vladimir Jankélévitch, Ordo amoris, Ronald Commers
  11. A Woman’s All-Embracing Search of “the Other” : Etty Hillesum as the Basis of a “Pedagogy of Care and Attention”, Anna Aluffi Pentini

Notes by Reading Etty Hillesum in Context

  • It was published in 2018 by the Amsterdam University Press. See this Link.


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