Helga's Diary: A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp

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W. W. Norton & Company, Apr 22, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
27 Reviews

The remarkable diary of a young girl who survived the Holocaust—appearing in English for the first time.

In 1939, Helga Weiss was a young Jewish schoolgirl in Prague. Along with some 45,000 Jews living in the city, Helga’s family endured the first wave of the Nazi invasion: her father was denied work; she was forbidden from attending regular school. As Helga witnessed the increasing Nazi brutality, she began documenting her experiences in a diary.

In 1941, Helga and her parents were sent to the concentration camp of Terezín. There, Helga continued to write with astonishing insight about her daily life: the squalid living quarters, the cruel rationing of food, and the executions—as well as the moments of joy and hope that persisted in even the worst conditions.

In 1944, Helga and her family were sent to Auschwitz. Before she left, Helga’s uncle, who worked in the Terezín records department, hid her diary and drawings in a brick wall. Miraculously, he was able to reclaim them for her after the war.

Of the 15,000 children brought to Terezín and later deported to Auschwitz, only 100 survived. Helga was one of them. Reconstructed from her original notebooks, the diary is presented here in its entirety. With an introduction by Francine Prose, a revealing interview between translator Neil Bermel and Helga, and the artwork Helga made during her time at Terezín, Helga's Diary stands as a vivid and utterly unique historical document.

  

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Review: Helga's Diary: A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp

User Review  - Cheyenne - Goodreads

This is the diary of Helga Weiss who spent 3 and a half years in concentration camps during her teenage years. It gives a real in-depth look at life in concentration camps. Read full review

Review: Helga's Diary: A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp

User Review  - Johanna - Goodreads

Very informative. Often the diaries about WW2 are until the person is taken to a concentration camp. This little book is a personal account of what happened in various camps Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Maps
13
Authors Note
23
Prague
29
Terezin
65
Auschwitz Freiberg Mauthausen Home
146
Interview with Helga IVeiss
207
Translators Note 2 3 5
235
Glossary
243
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Helga Weiss was born in Prague in 1929. After surviving the Holocaust and the Second World War, Helga returned to Prague, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, and became an artist. She has two children, three grandchildren, and lives to this day in the apartment where she was born.

Francine Prose is the author of sixteen books of fiction, including Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Among her most recent works of nonfiction is the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife. A former president of PEN American Center, she lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information