Thursday, June 07, 2007

Rutka Laskier: a franker Anne Frank

"I am turning into an animal waiting to die." Rutka, 1943.

Newly published in English and Hebrew by Jerusalem's Holocaust Museum, this secret journal of a Polish teenager describes the final four months before her murder at Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

Rutka Laskier penned her diary from the ghetto of Bedzin, Poland. She was just 14, the same age as was the young Dutch diarist, Anne Frank, and all but one member of her family were slaughtered by the Nazis. Only her father survived the holocaust, and after he emigrated to Israel to start a new family he kept silent about his brutal past. Since Leskier's father died 20 years ago, his grown-up Israeli daughter had no clue about Rutka's existence before this diary surfaced in Poland and was donated by Rutka's Christian neighbor to the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem after 64 years. Her words were read aloud there earlier this week. This coincided with a public outcry that there are no signs in Arabic inside this educational institution. Surely that oversight makes it tough to ensure that the entire world never forgets the horrors of Hitler's "Final Solution."

"I was struck by a deep connection to Rutka," said Zahava Scherz (pictured above), who wrote a forward to her half-sister's 60-page book. "I was an only child, and I suddenly have an older sister. I immediately fell in love with her."
Reuters photo

3 comments:

Frum Femme said...

Thanks for the links. Can we buy this intriguing book from the Yad Vashem museum?

Izzy Bee said...

Yes. They have an online store.
Here is a link to try.
http://www1.yadvashem.org/research_publications/temp_publications/temp_index_Rutkas_Notebook.html

Good luck

Jack's Shack said...

I wonder how many more diaries like his are floating around.