Etty Hillesum.

Etty Hillesum is my first choice for someone who teaches me how to “be a heart” in my new series that I explained earlier here. A few years ago, I read her diary, which I highly recommend.

She was born in 1914 in Holland and was Jewish. She died at¬†Auschwitz in 1943 and her diary spans from 1941-1943. She was 29 when she died. So here’s the thing about her: she was living through a horrific time and yet she continuously says “life is beautiful.” I mean, she was in a concentration camp, she was seeing people die all around her and she ¬†remained hopeful. It wasn’t even that she was one of those naturally happy people, it was that she chose to be happy even though she naturally had thoughts of fear and anxiety.

It amazes me that she wouldn’t have expected anyone to actually read her diary and she wrote so beautifully. She sought personal growth and saw that growth it as a way to bring creativity to the world.

So for the next month or so, I’ll be sharing my favorite quotes from her diary over on instagram (@beaheartdotcom). Here’s a sneak peak:


All joy to you,


4 replies on “Etty Hillesum.”

Oh my Naomi! I, too, am so pleased to see someone else spread her words. I feel like they are tucked away in her writing and not shared widely enough. I wish I could hear her words recorded in her voice and etch them onto my heart. So happy to meet you!

so glad to find other admirers of etty! I’ve been a huge etty fan for about 8 years and have come across very few people who appreciate her the way she deserves to be appreciated. I found your profile on Instagram when I looked for other ettyhillesum hashtags and your art, combined with Etty’s sweet sweet words took my breath away. amazing work, lady. etty would be honored. -jill (@gettinjillywithit)

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