Irit Amiel, Holocaust survivor and renowned author, dies at 89 in Israel

Renown Polish-born Israeli writer & Holocaust survivor Irit Amiel has died, Polish website Culture.pl declared on Twitter. She was 89.

Amiel was born in 1931 as Irena Librowicz in Częstochowa, in a Polish-Jewish family. During World War II, like many other Jews, she was placed in the Częstochowa Ghetto, from which she managed to escape thanks to documents identifying her as an Aryan Pole.

She was the only member of her family to survive the war.

After surviving the ghetto in Częstochowa, she emigrated to Israel in 1948 where she has lived ever since.

She started writing in her sixties when her granddaughter asked for help to write a dissertation on the Holocaust, as Israeli society then did not encourage survivors to record their memories of the Shoah, website polandin.com recalled.

Scorched, her debut collection of short stories, was written in Polish and published in 1999, according to Culture.pl.

Irit Amiel wrote the first volume of poems published in 1994, Test in the Holocaust, in Hebrew, which was translated into Polish in the same year. In the following years, Amiel published several volumes of poems directly or indirectly referring to the experiences of the German occupation, and the Holocaust.

Her two other works devoted to the Holocaust: Carbonized published in the year 2000 and Dual View, published in 2008, were nominated for the prestigious Nike award.

Amiel’s work, written 50 years after the Holocaust, is focused on the Holocaust’s survivors, most of them living today in Israel. These short stories show that one doesn’t really ‘survive’ the Holocaust, as the experience is always present with those who have survived the horrors of the Shoah.

According to critic and author Michał Głowiński, the important ‘novelty’ brought by Amiel to Holocaust literature is in her showing how the Shoah continues to define the lives of its survivors even many years later, Culture.pl. reported.

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