The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust, by Noam Chayut
Translated by Tal Haran
Haunting, beautifully written and deeply moving memoir of a young Israeli soldier.
“She took from me the belief that absolute evil exists in this world, and the belief that I was avenging it and fighting against it. For that girl, I embodied absolute evil … Since then I have been left without my Holocaust, and since then everything in my life has assumed a new meaning: belongingness is blurred, pride is lacking, belief is faltering, contrition is heightening, forgiveness is being born.”
The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust is the deeply moving memoir of Chayut’s journey from eager Zionist conscript on the front line of Operation Defensive Shield to leading campaigner against the Israeli occupation. As he attempts to make sense of his own life as well as his place within the wider conflict around him, he slowly starts to question his soldier’s calling, Israel’s justifications for invasion, and the ever-present problem of historical victimhood.
Noam Chayut was born in 1979 and joined the Nachel Brigade as a conscript in 1998. He swiftly rose to the rank of officer and saw action during Operation Defensive Shield. He left the army in 2003 and later joined Breaking the Silence, a platform for former soldiers to record their testimonies about life in the military. His memoir was published in Israel in 2010.
Brutality is “in my veins” – Noam Chayut, author ofThe Girl Who Stole My Holocaust, talks about his experiences as a former Israeli soldier