My Name is Selma

[Mijn naam is Selma]
Year: 
2020
Public: 
Publisher: 
Transworld
City: 
London
Year of publication: 
2020
Pages: 
211
Moral assessment: 
Type: Thought
Nothing inappropriate.
Requires prior general knowledge of the subject.
Readers with knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Contains doctrinal errors of some importance.
Whilst not being explicitly against the faith, the general approach or its main points are ambiguous or opposed to the Church’s teachings.
Incompatible with Catholic doctrine.
Literary quality: 
Recommendable: 
Transmits values: 
Sexual content: 
Violent content: 
Vulgar or obscene language: 
Ideas that contradict Church teaching: 
The rating of the different categories comes from the opinion of Delibris' collaborators

Selma came from a loving and closely knit family in Amsterdam and although she was a Jew had no concern about her race until war broke out when it became evident that the Nazis wanted to wipe out all the Jews, adopting more and more measures to isolate them from the rest of society.  Atrocities were committed and conditions worsened.  Meanwhile Selma joined a Resistance group changing her name to Marga so as to have access to ways of helping others much as she could. She carried out many dangerous missions with success and courage until finally she was caught and sent to Camp Vught which compared with conditions in other conentration camps had a certain amount of ease.  However, after Vught, she was sent as a political prisoner to Ravensbruck, the women’s concentration camp, where she lived under shocking conditions. In April 1945 the few surviving women were ‘liberated’ and sent  via Denmark to Sweden. There she was able to say ‘My Name is Selma’.  Shortly after this she moved to London where her two brothers lived. She worked for the BBC and met her husband, a belgian journalist. At the time of writing the book, she was 98. 

The book is written with elegance, passing over the horrifying inhumanities which were undoubtedly committed at the extermination camps, clearly but without undue detail.  One admires her determination in carrying out her duties at great personal risk, and the hope with which she approached even the most discouraging of situations and inspired others. It is a well recommended read.

Author: Joan Gilmartin, Australia, 2022