Sparked by strong sales in the first half of 2018, Vanderbilt University Press has ordered a third printing of Odd Nansen’s From Day to Day. As mentioned previously, Vanderbilt’s first printing was expected to last for approximately three years (i.e., until May 2019). The second printing was ordered less than two years later, and this third printing follows only seven months after that.
Recently I received a mailing from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (which, as discussed here and here, is the beneficiary of 50% of all royalties from the sale of my edition of From Day to Day). On the cover was this quote from Elie Wiesel, Founding Museum Chairman:
“We should never think that it is finished. With imagination, with passion, with fervor, begin again. It’s up to you now that my past does not become your future.”
Odd Nansen’s incomparable diary is an important guidepost in preventing the past from becoming the future. Now, more than ever, with Antisemitism on the rise, both here and abroad, Nansen’s words and example need to be studied, and heeded.
In the final paragraph of Nansen’s Postscript to his diary, he writes:
“The worst crime you can commit today, against yourself and society, is to forget what happened and sink back into indifference. What happened was worse than you have any idea of—and it was the indifference of mankind that let it take place.”
As long as Nansen’s words are read, the world will not forget what happened, and as long as they are read, it will be that much more difficult for the world to sink back into indifference. I sincerely hope that From Day to Day goes on to many more printings, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen.