Alfers writes book on German-Jewish writer Else Dormitzer

Western Today staff
  • Sandra Alfers
    Sandra Alfers

Sandra Alfers, an associate professor of German at Western Washington University, recently published her book "weiter schreiben. Leben und Lyrik der Else Dormitzer" on the German-Jewish writer Else Dormitzer with Hentrich & Hentrich in Berlin, Germany. The renowned publishing house specializes in Jewish Culture and Contemporary Jewish History.

Else Dormitzer (1877-1958) was a journalist, writer, and activist, who fled her hometown of Nuremberg along with her husband Dr. Sigmund Dormitzer shortly after the November pogrom of 1938, also known as "Kristallnacht" (The Night of Broken Glass). In 1943, the German occupying forces in the Netherlands, where the Dormitzers had lived after their escape from Nazi Germany, deported the couple to the Theresienstadt ghetto. While her husband did not survive the Holocaust, Else Dormitzer returned to the Netherlands and later moved to the United Kingdom. She became a British national in 1951.

With the help of the “Association of Jewish Refugees”, an organization based in the UK, and of Frank Harris, founder of the “Nürnberg-Fürth Survivors Group” in the U.S., Alfers was able to locate Dormitzer’s surviving relatives in Europe. They opened their extensive private family archive to her, including poetry and diaries from Theresienstadt. The resulting book makes available Dormitzer’s Holocaust writings for a first time in Germany. It also places Dormitzer’s contributions to cultural and social history into context as it traces her life in the 20th century.

The book is available in the U.S. directly from the Hentrich website or from amazon.de.

Friday, January 8, 2016 - 10:19am

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