The Diary of Petr Ginz, 1941–1942

Chava Pressburger, Editor, Elena Lappin, Translator , trans. from the Czech by Elena Lappin. Atlantic Monthly $24 (161p) ISBN 978-0-87113-966-5

The diaries of Petr Ginz, a 14-year-old Czech Jew who died in Auschwitz in 1944, resurfaced in 2003 after nearly 60 years in obscurity. Now edited by his sister, the diary covers 11 months preceding Ginz's deportation to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The entries, along with poems and artwork, demonstrate the young man's determined spirit, imagination and intellectual precociousness. With much that is mundane about his life in Prague—the weather, visits with family and friends, school assignments and grades—the diary also reveals Ginz's prankish and entrepreneurial sides (he initiates a school lottery) and his observations of resistance against the German occupiers and their acts of savage reprisal. Ginz also records the progressive deportations of those he knows to either Theresienstadt or to the Lodz Ghetto. This volume also includes excerpts from Vedem ("we lead"), a weekly periodical Ginz created in Theresienstadt. Pressburger's helpful, if at times sketchy, notes and annotations to the diary include a summary of the fates of Ginz's family, neighbors, schoolmates and friends. While Ginz's diary lacks the expressions of the rich inner life of Anne Frank's, it is a moving and valuable addition to the personal literature of the Holocaust. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/05/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 161 pages - 978-0-8021-4360-0
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