A Cookbook Written by Concentration Camp Prisoners

From SBS TV:

At the Sydney Jewish Museum, in Darlinghurst, there is a handmade cookbook that is testament to how memories of beloved family dishes can sustain the spirit, if not the body. Located among other Holocaust artefacts in the concentration camps section of the museum, the slim book is no more than 15 cm x 10 cm; you could almost pass it over.

The cookbook was made in 1945 by Hungarian-Jew Edith Peer (nee Gombos) when she was an inmate at Ravensbrück concentration camp for women, located in northern Germany. The cookbook is the only object of its kind in Australia and one of six known ‘fantasy cookbooks’ written by Holocaust concentration camp prisoners in the world. In 2015, it featured in a French documentary film, Imaginary Feasts.

Barely an adult and not knowing how to scramble an egg, Peer would sit with the other women during rare moments of spare time and listen to them “eat with words” as they shared their favourite recipes. It occurred to Edith to learn to cook from these women and collect their recipes because she had every intention of surviving.