The diary of Rutka Laskier, a 14-year-old Jewish girl writing in 1943 just before her deportation to Auschwitz, was released by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, in cooperation with Rutka’s family. More than 60 years later, her words provide a rare and authentic perspective of history and tragedy, offering both a daily account of life in the Polish ghetto of Bedzin and the memoir of a teenager trapped in the the Holocaust.
Hailed in the international press as the ”Polish Anne Frank,” RUTKA’S NOTEBOOK was unveiled in Jerusalem in spring 2007. The diary chronicles the horrors Rutka witnesses in Bedzin, juxtaposed and intertwined with the private, everyday thoughts and dreams of a young girl growing up – anywhere.
”The rope around is getting tighter and tighter, Rutka wrote in 1943, shortly before her deportation. ”I’m turning into an animal waiting to die.”
Just a few months later, Rutka was dead and, it seemed, her diary lost. But in 2006, a Polish friend who had saved the notebook finally came forward, exposing a riveting historical document.
”I have a feeling that I am writing for the last time,” Rutka wrote on February 20, 1943, as Nazi soldiers began gathering Jews outside her home for deportation. ”I wish it would end already! This torment, this is hell. I try 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 once…but I can’t, because despite all these atrocities, I want to live, and wait for the following day.”
But Rutka would write again. Her last entry was dated April 24, 1943. ”I’m very bored,” she wrote. “The entire day I’m walking around the room. I have nothing to do.”
In August, she and her family were sent to Auschwitz. Rutka was killed upon arrival
Rights Sold to:
Brazil, Rocco; Czech Republic, Academia; France, Laffont; Germany, Aufbau Verlag; Greece, Patakis; Holland, De Geus; Israel, Yad Vashem; Italy, RCS Libri; Japan: PHP Institute; Poland, Polskapresse; Portugal, Sextante Editora; Spain, Suma; USA, Time Books
"A must-have for Holocaust collections, and a solid purchase for general YA collections." – Heidi Estrin, School Library Journal