Edited by Zwi Bacharach and Toby Weissman Translated by: Batsheva Pomerantz (400 Pages)Publisher: Devora Publishing/Yad Vashem, 2004
"These are my last words . . ."
is a sentence found over and over again in this unique volume of letters writtem by those who would not survive the Holocaust. The letters were uncovered over the last 60 years, hoarded by the victims' families and friends, and ultimately collected by Yad Vashem, the largest Holocaust Muesum in Israel.
These last letters were sent from the ghettos, hidden in the cattle cars and train stations, and smuggled out of the concentration camps. Each short letter describes the end of a difficult journey even as it reveals the raw emotions of mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers trying desperately to tell their story before it is too late.
Some believed they might survive, and their lettrs are perhaps the saddest. They reveal the hope and aspirations which all of us can relate to: the plans for the future, the anxieties of the present, and the bitter-sweet memories of the past. These letters of confidence stand in sharp contrast to those who wrote knowing they were doomed. But both kinds of letters express the concern these martyrs had for their loved ones.
Included are a "Geographical Index" indicating where the letters were found and/or sent from, a "Names Index" listing those who wrote the letters, and a "Concepts and Topics Index" which details where words like "children", "SS", "Acceptance" etc., appear. When known, information on the fate of the writer or the journey of the letter is included in a note at the end of the letter.