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Jacques Presser (1899–1970) between history and literature, 25 May 2012

11 May 2012

Jacob (Jacques) Presser

When Jacques Presser’s Ondergang (1965, in English: Ashes in the Wind : The Destruction of Dutch Jewry, 1968) first appeared, twenty years after the end of World War II, the book hit Dutch society like a bomb. What people knew in general but had forgotten, passed over in silence or repressed during two decades, was here described in every gruesome detail: the systematic humiliation, isolation, despoliation, and extermination of Dutch Jewry.

Presser not only authored the harrowing chronicle of this history but also literary works that received much less attention, despite the fact that several of his writings not only deal with life in hiding during the Nazi occupation, but were actually written while in hiding which makes them remarkable in themselves to start with.

Jacques Presser, Homo Submersus
Jacques Presser, Ashes in the wind

Philo Bregstein (Paris/Amsterdam) will revisit both Presser’s literary and historical writings, and present a more balanced and nuanced picture of the man, the perception of whose writings had a profound effect on successive phases of commemoration of the Holocaust in Dutch society.

Friday, 25 May 2012, 5.15pm

Venue: Senate House, South block, 1st floor, Torrington Room 104

All welcome!

Part of the Low Countries history research seminars series at the Institute for Historical Research.

Page last modified on 11 may 12 08:58 by Ulrich Tiedau