The Holocaust Journal of Miksa Fenyő
Keywords:Holocaust in Hungary, Diaries, historical narration, life-writing, Nyugat
For readers today, first-person accounts provide one of the most effective means of gaining an intimate glimpse into the everyday lives of those experiencing historical events. Diary entries recorded during the Holocaust not only individualize the process of mass extermination, they also preserve the words of those bearing witness to horrendous crimes. Yet should these written records only be interpreted as works of non-fiction? What literary techniques might have been employed in creating these depictions? Other than the period in which they were written, what characteristics may diaries written during the Holocaust share? In an attempt to address a few issues posed by Holocaust journals and diaries, this paper examines Miksa Fenyő’s Holocaust journal, Az elsodort ország [‘A Country Adrift’] (1946), written while the author was in hiding from June 22, 1944 to January 19, 1945 in Budapest, Hungary.
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