Alice Ehrmann's Diary Entry on Her Feelings at the End of World War II, April 30, 1945

Entry from the diary of Alice Ehrmann from April 30, 1945, in which she reflects on her feelings at the end of World War II.

April 30, 1945

[. . .] We’ve been waiting for six endless, unbearable years for this moment. And now everything is so shabby and has lost the appearance of glory because everything has become superfluous and so pointless. Everything just goes around in circles. Those who destroyed us saved the remnants and now want to be celebrated. Everything, everything is so pointless. We sit there and see: the worst thing that they did to us was to rob us of reality, the concept of reality. We know a tortured, horror-filled world of cruelty in which we are the objects of events. And dreams. And between them lies the only thing capable of being reality and of being lived as such, darkness. They bound our eyes shut for so long, and now we are blind. We shatter in eternal flight between dream and cruelty upon the rocks of a reality that is shrouded by eternal night. It is too late for everything. Does anything remain that might make sense in this senselessness? Things reveal themselves in their senselessness. And that, precisely at the moment that we harbor hopes for life after an endless dying between our twelfth and eighteenth years.1

  1. Citations

    • 1 Alexandra Zapruder, ed., Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust, 2nd edition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015) 417–418.

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