A
 Procession 
of 
Shadows:

 Examining 
Warsaw
 Ghetto 
Testimony


Mark Celinscak

Abstract


The
 diaries
 and
 memoirs
 of
 the
 Warsaw
 Ghetto
 lament
 the
 destruction
 of
 Warsaw
 and
 the
 loss
 of
 its
 people.
 These
 accounts
 document
 life
 in
 the
 Ghetto
 and
 testify
 to
 the
 horror
 and
 tragedy
 of
 those
 merciless
 days.
 The
 following
 paper
 reviews
 a
 number
 of
 diaries
 and
 memoirs
 concerning
 the
 Warsaw
 Ghetto
 in
 order 
to 
compare 
the 
unique 
nature 
of
the 
documents, 
as 
well 
as 
to 
explore 
the 
challenges 
and
 distinctions
 of
 each
 narrative
 form.
 An
 examination
 of
 the
 accounts
 show
 how
 the
 diaries
 depict
 individuals
 in 
transformation, 
while
 the 
memoirs 
reveal
writers
 struggling 
with
 the 
confines
 of 
their 
own
 imaginations 
in 
order 
to
restore
 the
 events 
as 
they 
happened.
 Furthermore,
 the
 diaries 
exemplify 
how
 the
 brutal
 conditions
 in
 the
 Ghetto
 impacted
 and
 wrought
 changes
 in
 the
 individual
 writers.
 In
 contrast,
 the
 memoirs
 demonstrate
 survivors
 attempting
 to
 retrieve
 the
 loss
 of
 self.
 The
 work
 of
 the
 memoirists
 underlines
 the
 sheer
 impossibility
 of
 transmitting
 the
 horrors
 of
 the
 Holocaust
 and
 exemplifies
 its
 destructiveness
 on 
life.
 


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