Rywka's diary The writings of a Jewish girl from the Lodz Ghetto, found at Auschwitz in 1945 and published seventy years later

Rywka Lipszyc, 1929-

Book - 2015

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New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2015]
Main Author
Rywka Lipszyc, 1929- (author)
Other Authors
Małgorzata Markoff (translator), Ewa Wiatr (contributor)
First edition
Item Description
"Originally published by Jewish Family and Children Services of San Francisco."
Original title: The diary of Rywka Lipszyc.
Physical Description
xii, 227 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 219-221).
  • Preface: The Diary's Journey from Auschwitz to America
  • Part I. Background
  • A Polish Girl Comes of Age in a Jewish Ghetto
  • Lodz: A History of the City and the Ghetto
  • Part II. The Diary of Rymka Lipszyc
  • Part III. Aftermath
  • The Family Remembers: More Than a Name
  • A Meeting with the Past
  • Rywka's Family
  • What Happened to Rywka Lipszyc?
  • Another Mystery
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgments
Review by Library Journal Review

In 1945, a Soviet doctor found the diary of Rywka Lipszyc, a Polish teenage girl, in Auschwitz after its liberation. Hidden for seven decades, this significant historical journal is now being widely released with illustrations, contextual essays, and archival research. The diary doesn't chronicle Rywka's time at Auschwitz; instead, it contains her thoughts and observations between October 1943 and April 1944 while living in the Lodz ghetto. When the diary starts, she had already lost both of her parents to illness and Nazi brutality and her two youngest siblings through deportation to concentration camps. Her narrative gives readers a sense of a girl trying to find normalcy through friendship, worship, work, and school, yet isn't entirely free from the underlying horror of her circumstances. With a strong voice, Rywka recounts an experience of illness, cold, and hunger-always hunger. Remarkably, she still finds joy in hard work, her faith, and her diary. VERDICT An incredible addition to Holocaust literature. The historical essays are informative and absorbing to a general audience. [See Prepub Alert, 3/23/15.]-Heidi Uphoff, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

During the dark days of the Holocaust, a bright 14-year-old girl of the Lodz ghetto committed her deepest feelings to a diary. Now that important diary is published.Lipszyc's journal was found at the end of World War II near an Auschwitz crematorium by a Russian army doctor who left it to her daughter, who passed it on to the Jewish social service organization that sponsored its translation and publication. But the author did not perish at Auschwitz. Unlike all her immediate family, she survived the war, her destiny after it unknown. Her adolescent diary begins during the Jewish New Year in the fall of 1943 and ends just after Passover the following spring. The teenager, whose parents had already perished, writes of her beloved ghetto mentor, Surcia. Lipszyc and her siblings lived with young cousins in a household headed by a girl a few years older. Her brother and sister were deported by the Nazis in a roundup of Jews deemed useless. Throughout the diary, hope and faith yield to misery and despair. Hours of factory work and attempts at sewing lessons precede inevitable declines in health and spirit. It was a cold winter in the Lodz ghetto. Rations were meager, and food was stolen. People slowly starved to death. Awaiting necessary identification cards, missing daily portions of soup, wondering who stole precious marmalade, and counting the latest deaths, Lipszyc wrote her poetry and reflections: "What's going to happen tomorrow, we don't know!... / Oh, God! Help us at last!" The brief diary is supported by contributions of valuable essays. It is well-known that many diaries were written during the Holocaust. Most, like their authors, were lost. Only a few, like Lipszyc's, survived. Her ultimate fate may be unknown, but her journal of torment is a testament to the survival of the human spirit in the face of evil. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.