For most scholars of the history of the Holocaust, survivor memoirs are regarded as an important reservoir of information. Given the many lacunae in the more traditional sources of documentation regarding events from the point of view of the Jews who experienced them, survivor memoirs, like other personal accounts — oral testimony and diaries — are a crucial wellspring for filling these gaps in our knowledge. It is a point of some debate as to just how reliable such accounts are, especially those given many years after the events that they describe. The recent controversy about the supposed memoir published by Benjamin Wilkomirski highlighted this discussion to the extreme.1 After much probing and contention, it seems that Wilkomirski fabricated the story in which he claimed to have experienced the Holocaust as a very young Jewish child in Poland.2 Of course it would be absurd to equate with a sham the guileless accounts of tens of thousands of Jews who experienced the Holocaust.
KeywordsManes Boulder Abate Editing
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