Etty Hillesum

Onderzoeks centrum


In 2006 an independent research centre was founded at the Ugent to study and promote Etty Hillesum’s life and writings. The Letters and Diaries 1941-1943 were written during WWII, in the Netherlands. These valuable manuscripts have received global attention ever since they were published and presented to the wider public. The Etty Hillesum Research Centre stimulates participation of researchers in a variety of academic fields. In 2015 the centre was moved to Middelburg.

Easter at King’s

March 29, 2018 – Maundy Thursday in King’s College, Cambridge (UK), will be dedicated to Etty Hillesum. First a conversation between Helen Weinstein and Klaas Smelik about Etty Hillesum; then a recital of music and texts by Etty Hillesum.  More information:
























‘Reading Etty Hillesum in Context’

Congress volume 2014

In March 2017, the congress volume ‘The Ethics and Religious Philosophy of Etty Hillesum’ will be published by Brill Boston. It will contain a selection of outstanding contributions to the international Etty Hillesum research. The next congress will take place in the autumn of 2018 in Middelburg

congresbundel 2014


Ten years ago, the Etty Hillesum Research Centre (Dutch abbreviation: EHOC) was founded at Ghent University. In 2015, it moved to Middelburg, the city where Etty Hillesum was born in 1914. When the centre was founded, the aims and objectives were formulated as follows:


* To provide opportunities for research and exchange for scholars world-wide working on Etty Hillesum’s writings. * To archive the international research material on Etty Hillesum and to develop the bibliography accordingly. * To expand and deepen our own research on Etty Hillesum. * To publish the series ‘Etty Hillesum Studies’ in Dutch. * To initiate projects and supervise the various translations of Etty Hillesum’s writings in different languages. * To develop a website, which will present the different research activities, both local as well as on an international level. * To open up the centre of Etty Hillesum documentation for scholars and graduates world-wide. * To organize symposiums, seminars, courses, conferences and debates. * To offer professional academic support and supervision for those who wish further guidance in their work. * To expand our contacts with the different organizations interested in Etty Hillesum.


Now, ten years later, we see that all our aims and objectives have been realized. The extensive international bibliography is available; in the series Etty Hillesum Studies, the eight volume will appear this year; two international Etty Hillesum conferences have been held in 2008 and 2014; the congress volume 2008 has been published in 2010; the congress volume 2014 will appear end of this year; many symposiums, seminars, courses, and debates have taken place; there are vivid contacts with scholars and artists worldwide – from Colombia to Australia; several new translations and studies of Etty Hillesum’s diaries and letters have been published and the EHOC has now extensive contacts with the different organizations interested in Etty Hillesum.

Since the worldwide interest in Etty Hillesum and her writings is still growing, we can face the future with confidence.


Middelburg 13th of June 2016                                                                   Klaas A.D. Smelik, director EHOC