The junta's rhetoric was extremely anti-semitic and Argentine Jews were routinely disappeared and subjected to special tortures, including having Nazi symbology spray painted on their bodies and being forced to perform Nazi salutes (SImpson 91). One of the most notorious anti-semitic torturers, Julio Simon, nicknamed el Turco Julian was sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes that he committed during the Dirty War. Read the BBC article here.
A Single Numberless Death is the testimonio of Nora Strejilevich, written after her kidnap and torture in 1970s Argentina. The original Spanish version, Una Sola Muerte Numerosa, won the 1996 Letras de Oro Literary Prize and was published in 1997 by North South Center Press. The English translation, co-translated by Strejilevich and Cristina de la Torre, was published in 1997 by the University of Virginia Press and a re-edition of the book is forthcoming in Argentina.
Nora Strejilevich was born in Buenos Aires to first generation Argentine parents of Eastern-European Jewish descent.
In 1977 she was disappeared after signing up to go on a local Jewish Agency’s trip to Israel. After being subjected to several days of extreme phsyical and pyschological torture, she was released and fled Argentina, going first to Israel, Spain and Italy, then to Canada, where she earned her PhD in Latin American literature. Today she is a professor at San Diego State University.
Strejilevich has worked extensively to preserve the memory of Los Desaparecidos and to use that memory to pursue an end to human torture. In addition to A Single Numberless Death, she has written about her experiences as a survivor and the importance of testimonio both in academic and creative formats. She was interviewed for Nunca Más, has worked on several films about human rights, and continues to tour the world speaking about her work as a survivor, activist, and intellectual.
This part of the site offers several examples of how the testimonio format of A Single Numberless Death reveals new perspectives and insights for the historian. Please note that these pages are the analyses of student Laura Herbert and her work with the text of A Single Numberless Death. They are short highlights and do not convey the complete extent of her work.