Sunday, March 2, 2008

rutka laskier

Rutka's Notebook - January-April 1943

girl from Bedzin, Poland, age 14, the same age as the Dutch teenager Anne Frank, kept a diary for a few brief months in 1943.

The outside world slowly closed down on her, but these few sheets of paper - some 60 handwritten pages in a notebook – reflect both the horrors of the Holocaust and the entire universe of an adolescent Jewish girl in the shadow of death.

Rutka shared the diary with her friend Stanislawa Sapinska. The two met after Rutka’s family moved into a home owned by Sapinska’s family that had been confiscated by the Nazis so that it could be included in the ghetto.The two became friendly and when Rutka told her that she felt she would not survive, Stanislawa offered to hide the diary in the basement under one of the floorboards. At the end of the war, Stanislawa returned to the house and found the hidden diary. She kept the diary in her home library for more than 60 years and recently decided to make it available to the public.

The last entry is from 24 April 1943. In August, Rutka and her family were deported to Auschwitz. She is believed to have been murdered upon arrival. Rutka’s father, Yaakov, was the family’s only survivor. He moved to Israel where he began a new family, a family who has now been given the rare opportunity to get to know a sister and an aunt who was murdered long before they were born.

From the Diary
“I have a feeling that I’m writing for the last time. There is an Aktion in town. I’m not allowed to go out and I’m going crazy, imprisoned in my own house […] For a few days, something’s in the air […] The town is breathlessly waiting in anticipation, and this anticipation is the worst of all. I wish it would end already! This is torment, ; this is hell. I’m trying to escape from these thoughts, of the next day, but they keep haunting me like nagging flies. If only I could say, it’s over, you only die only once… But I can’t, because despite all those these atrocities I want to live, and wait for the following day. It That means, waiting for Auschwitz or labor camp. I must not think about this so now I’ll start writing now about private matters.” (February 20, 1943)

please, do not wait until the diaries from 14 year old girls in iraq are posted....