The story of Hélène Berr, a young French Jewish woman who chronicled her life in Paris during the German occupation and died in a concentration camp, had a certain poignancy for Yale senior Zoe Egelman.
A New Yorker, Egelman shares with Berr the experience of growing up in a world capital with a long-established Jewish population. Just as Berr was when she began to record her journal in 1942, Egelman is a 21 year old completing her studies in the literature of a foreign language at a prestigious university. Berr, a student in the English studies department at the Sorbonne, was doing her master’s thesis on John Keats; Egelman, a French major at Yale who has studied literature at the Sorbonne, is doing her senior thesis on Berr. (more…)