Words of Memory and Hope: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust
Alexandra Zapruder in conversation with Peter Feigl
In this lecture, author Alexandra Zapruder shares the intensely personal writings of young diarists of the Holocaust. Some of the writers, who ranged in age from twelve to twenty-two, were refugees while others lived in hiding, passed as non-Jews, or were imprisoned in ghettos. Most of the diarists perished. We are honored that diarist Peter Feigl will be joining Ms. Zapruder in conversation following her lecture.
Alexandra Zapruder began her career as a member of the founding staff of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. where she served on the curatorial team that developed the museum’s exhibition for young visitors, Remember the Children, Daniel’s Story. A graduate of Smith College, Ms. Zapruder received her master’s degree in Education from Harvard University.
Salvaged Pages includes selections from fifteen diaries, ten of which had never been translated and published in English. Now in its second edition, the book received the National Jewish Book Award for 2001-2002. Ms. Zapruder is also the author of Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film, which tells the story of her grandfather’s home movie of President Kennedy’s assassination.
Peter Feigl was born in Berlin, Germany and moved with his parents to Vienna in 1937. There he was baptized in the Catholic Church in the hope that it would shield him from the increasingly virulent antisemitism. In 1938, the family fled to Belgium and then to France where they were detained in Gurs as enemy aliens. His parents’ efforts to secure U.S. immigration visas failed and ultimately Peter’s parents were deported to Auschwitz. Orphaned, Peter began writing a diary dedicated to his parents that he hoped one day to share with them. He survived in hiding, for much of the time in Le Chambon and eventually in May 1944 reached neutral Switzerland. He emigrated to the United States in July 1946.