The Diary Keepers: World War II in the Netherlands, as Written by the People Who Lived Through It

21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$32.50  $30.23
Ecco Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 9.1 X 1.9 inches | 1.54 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author

Nina Siegal received her MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a Fulbright Scholar. She has written for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, among other publications. She lives in Amsterdam.


"This diverse and enlightening collection of excerpts from journals kept during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands is an essential contribution to the history of WWII. Drawing from an archive of more than 2,100 wartime diaries . . . [Siegal] contextualizes her primary sources with exhaustive research and analysis of contemporaneous records. . . . [A] vivid portrait of the Nazi occupation as it unfolded, providing a wider lens than many Holocaust histories. . . . [A] treasure trove of firsthand perspectives." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A beautiful, poignant book about the darkest period in modern Dutch history...This book gives a powerful voice to forgotten witnesses." -- David de Jong, author of Nazi Billionaires

"Nina Siegal has accomplished a remarkable feat. She has given us a day-by-day narrative of the Holocaust in the Netherlands by splicing together excerpts from a few of the hundreds of diaries stored in an Amsterdam archive...With thoughtful and insightful observations of her own, Siegal helps us understand how 75 percent of the 140,000 Jews of Holland, a prosperous and cultivated Western European country, could have been murdered, posing a warning for our own deeply fractured country." -- Joseph Berger, author of Elie Wiesel: Confronting the Silence

"The Diary Keepers is an astonishing, essential book that asks us to bear witness to an unbear-able history, even as it invites us to think hard about what history is--how it gets written, and what stories it tells. This book is powerfully moving and necessarily terrifying. By way of rigorous research and intimate storytelling, Nina Siegal brings us close to her diary keepers--making it impossible to turn away from the difficult, necessary questions their lives raise about survival, suffering, complicity, and memory." -- Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

"Like an archaeologist excavating an ancient temple, Nina Siegal has dug up hundreds of stories of life under the unprecedented horror of Nazism, revealing the changing thoughts and shifting moods of heroes, villains, and victims. Until now, we only had a black-and-white image of these lives. Now, thanks to Siegal, we see them in living color." -- Benjamin Moser, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sontag

"This moving and masterful book tells the history of those fateful war years, and their aftermath, in a wonderfully intimate way." -- Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Field

"A work of orchestral power, moving among voices. I was riveted." -- Patricia Hampl, author of The Art of a Wasted Day

"The history of the Dutch Jews is one of the most disturbing of the Holocaust, but we must engage with it, and The Diary Keepers helps us do just that." -- Telegraph (UK)

"A compelling look at the story of World War II and the Holocaust told through the diaries of Dutch citizens in firsthand accounts of ordinary people living through extraordinary times." -- Brooklyn Digest

"The Diary Keepers is an important addition to WWII and Holocaust studies. It reveals, through the words of the people who were there, how any one of us might respond to unprecedented calamity. And its coda is the unsettling reminder that nobody knows the ultimate ending to their story until it comes." -- Washington Independent Review of Books

"Siegal intersperses artfully selected and translated excerpts from nine of those diaries with interludes in which she explores larger ideas they raise, allowing the diarists to speak in their own voices while offering the necessary background to place them in context." -- Washington Post