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Beauty and Horror in a Concentration Camp

The Story of Etty Hillesum
by: James Murphy
In stock
SKU 978-1-56548-524-2
ISBN Number: 978-1-56548-524-2
Page Count: 144
Format: Paperback

"To the thousands of volumes of Holocaust literature, Monsignor James Murphy adds a unique portrait of Etty Hillesum, a brilliant, talented, truly remarkable woman who lived by the verse from Leviticus (17:19), “You shall not hate your brother in your heart.” Hillesum’s many gifts included a desire to spread love, never allowing her inner heart and soul to hate, not even those responsible for the extermination of millions.Murphy’s book is an important read, especially in our turbulent times of division and hate."

Reuven H. Taff

Rabbi Emeritus, Mosaic Law Congregation, Sacramento, CA


"Etty Hillesum, a beautiful, young emancipated Jewish woman, was incarcerated at the transit camp of Westerbork and murdered at Auschwitz. James Murphy’s Beauty and Horror in a Concentration Camp is a powerful analysis of her well-respected but not widely known Diary, a profoundly spiritual depiction of how she wrestled with God and with suffering. Murphy argues convincingly that Hillesum’s diary, which conveys her unique ability to appreciate the majesty and vitality of life even in the all-pervasive presence of death, is one of the most spiritually important documents to emerge from the ashes of the Holocaust. Murphy presents a most Catholic and most respectful reading of this Jewish woman’s life, who remained with her people to the end."

Michael Berenbaum

Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies, American Jewish University


"I spent a day in Auschwitz in 1997, alone, reflecting on the enormity of the evil of the Holocaust. My traumatic experience there is still fresh in my memory twenty-five years later. Equally riveting is Monsignor James Murphy’s description of Auschwitz through the eyes of a young woman who was killed there in 1943. Etty Hillesum’s journey, begun in emotional turmoil and promiscuity, ultimately reveals how God works in us, especially through suffering and injustice. Amid the horrors that surrounded her she was transformed, and her union with God may even have been mystical. Too few know this amazing story."


William K. Weigand

Bishop Emeritus, Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, CA

About the Author

James Murphy, a retired priest of the Diocese of Sacramento, California, holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as editor of the diocesan newspaper Catholic Herald, diocesan director of communications, pastor of three bilingual parishes, rector of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, and vicar general of the diocese. He is the author of Saints and Sinners in the Cristero War: Stories of Martyrdom from Mexico.

More Information
Price $19.95
Language Spanish
Publication Date Jan 15, 2023
Author James Murphy
Format Paperback
Individual/Set Individual
Page Count 144