By Helene Berr
230 pages; Weinstein Books
"Why do I bother to make everything so dramatic?" wonders a vivacious, passionately intellectual young Jewish student at Paris's Sorbonne in 1942. A devotee of Keats and Mozart, she probes the heady mysteries of love—even as the Nazis savagely infiltrate her city and her life. Reading The Journal of Hélène Berr (Weinstein), a diary of denial, heartbreak, and resistance that her family's cook passed on to surviving relatives after Hélène's death at Bergen-Belsen, is like watching a sunset: an inevitable, achingly vivid journey into the dark.