Renown Polish-born Israeli writer & Holocaust survivor Irit Amiel has died, died at age 89, Polish website Culture.pl announced on Twitter. She was 89.
Very sad news... Polish-born Israeli writer & Holocaust survivor Irit Amiel (n. Irena Librowicz) has passed away at the age of 89. Her words & her testimony will be read & remembered by generations to come...https://t.co/gCrj4iXv1K— Culture.pl (@culture_pl) February 16, 2021
Amiel was born in 1931 as Irena Librowicz in Czestochowa to a Polish-Jewish family. During World War II, like many other Jews, she was placed in the Czestochowa Ghetto, from which she managed to escape thanks to documents identifying her as an Aryan Pole.
She was the only member of her family to survive the war.
After surviving the ghetto, she emigrated to Israel in 1948, where she lived until her death.
She started writing in her 60s when her granddaughter asked for assistance in writing a dissertation on the Holocaust, as society then did not encourage survivors to record their memories of the Holocaust, according to the website polandin.com.
Scorched, her debut collection of short stories, was written in Polish and published in 1999, according to Culture.pl.
Amiel wrote the first volume of poems published in 1994, Test in the Holocaust, in Hebrew, which was translated into Polish in the same year. In the following years, Amiel published several volumes of poems directly or indirectly referring to the experiences of the German occupation and the Holocaust.
Her two other works devoted to the Holocaust – Carbonized, published in 2000, and Dual View, published in 2008 – were nominated for the prestigious Nike award.
Amiel’s work, written 50 years after the Holocaust, is focused on the Holocaust’s survivors, most of them living today in Israel. These short stories show that one does not really “survive” the Holocaust, as the experience is always present with those who have survived.
According to critic and author Michal Glowinski, the important “novelty” brought by Amiel to Holocaust literature is in her showing how the event continues to define the lives of its survivors even many years later, according to Culture.pl.