Hélène Berr, A Stolen Life

September 8-October 20

A Special Exhibit From The Mémorial De La Shoah, Paris, France

Hélène Berr was a young Jewish French woman whose future was cut short by Vichy government's laws and the extermination plan imagined by the Nazis. The exhibit is based on her journal, composed between 1942-1944.  During that time, Berr wrote in her journal every day, alternating between hope and despair, until she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz.  The exhibit follows her steps through Paris under the German occupation and goes beyond the framework of the journal as it broadens the context of the occupation and addresses the persecution of the Jews in France.  The Journal of Hélène Berr was published in 2008 and is available at the library.

Opening Night

Monday, September 8, 7 p.m.

Remarks by the the Consulate General of France in Chicago and Jacques Fredj, Executive Director of Mémorial de la Shoah

Lecture by Dr. Michael Marrus, Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto

Exhibit Viewing and reception follow.


Additional Programs


An Introduction to Memoir Writing

Monday, September 15, 7 p.m.

Inspired by Hélène Berr’s journal written during WWII, writer Jennifer Dotson shares strategies for writing your own memoir and tips for getting started.



From Hollywood To Nuremberg:  John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens

Sunday, September 21, 2 p.m.

Historian and filmmaker Christian Delage relates the story of three great filmmakers sent to Europe to document the realities of war and the liberation of the camps.  Their footage was used as evidence during the Nuremberg trials.  Christian Delage will speak about the film via Skype. 



A free one-day workshop for teachers and educators organized by Mémorial de la Shoah

​Sunday, September 7, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

This workshop will provide historical insight from Jacques Fredj, Director of Mémorial de la Shoah; Michael Marrus, Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto; Pierre Sauvage, Founder of Chambon Foundation and filmmaker; and Nicole Dreyfus Terry, a French/American child survivor of the Holocaust. For full program description, please follow this link. 
This program was made possible with the support of Chicago Public Schools, the Cultural Service at the Consulate General of France in Chicago, the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Midwest Regional Office, Alliance Française de Chicago, and SNCF.


This exhibition was designed, created, and distributed by the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris, France (curators Karen Taieb and Sophie Nagiscarde), with the guidance of Mariette Job (niece of Hélène Berr) and made possible through the generous support of SNCF.

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