Horror, 1939

My mother is reading a diary from her Westlake,  California schoolmates who travelled to Germany and Vienna in November, 1939. Ma’s mother refused permission for her to go, but she just received, sixty-one years later, a copy of the diary. I haven’t read it yet, but apparently it’s horrifying. What starts out as a travelogue of the old Europe suddenly twists into a tale of 50,000 Jews being rounded up and shoved into black vans, old men’s beards set afire, children hit with bullwhips, and so forth – these students watched the holocaust unfold before their eyes. I’ll read it over the weekend, and report back – sounds like an awful document, but an important one.

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7 responses to “Horror, 1939

  1. Old Coot

    CF: Is there a way that you could publish the contents, or excerpts thereof, for us to study?

  2. ldm

    I hope it gets published (if it hasn’t been already).

  3. Anonymous

    Original documents like this are priceless, the absolute best sources of historical information: eye-witness accounts. I do hope you’ll share more of this with us, CF.

  4. kidding really?

    Westlake in Bel Air?

  5. horse jock

    Very very cool Fountaine. My grandmother also went to Westlake, although evidently older than yours, and my great uncle went to Harvard (School, now Harvard Westlake). Think there is a movie there? I do. Privileged kids in the 30’s go on a field trip and see the holocaust up close? Let’s sell it to Spielberg. Or has it been done before. I mean Polanski made China Town about my family, so…

  6. horse jock

    Technically the upper school for Harvard Westlake is in Holmby (which puts Bel Air to shame). The lower school is right over the hill in the San Fernando Valley.