Young Dawid Sierakowiak was one of more than 60,000 Jews who perished in the urban slave labour camp of the Lodz Ghetto during the Nazi occupation during World War II. His notebooks were found stacked on a stove, ready to be burned for heat. The Ghetto was the longest surviving concentration of Jews in Nazi Europe. The diary comprises a legacy ...
Young Dawid Sierakowiak was one of more than 60,000 Jews who perished in the urban slave labour camp of the Lodz Ghetto during the Nazi occupation during World War II. His notebooks were found stacked on a stove, ready to be burned for heat. The Ghetto was the longest surviving concentration of Jews in Nazi Europe. The diary comprises a legacy left to humanity by its teenage author. Off mountain climbing and studying Southern Poland during the summer of 1939, Dawid begins his diary with a heady desire to experience life, learn languages and read great literature. He returns home as war breaks out. Aburptly Lodz is occupied by the Nazis, and the Sierakowiak family is among the city's 200,000 Jews who are forced into a sealed ghetto, completely cut off from the outside world.
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-07-01 When the Nazis captured Lodz, the great textile center of Poland, they squeezed the Jewish population of 200,000 into a sealed neighborhood and began systematically to work and starve them to death. Sierakowiak began his journals when he was 15, just before the war, and continued with almost daily entries until it abruptly breaks off in 1943. Edited by Adelson, producer of the documentary film, Lodz Ghetto, the diary meticulously records Sierakowiak's own deterioration as well as that of the ghetto. Sierakowiak chronicles the growing hunger and desperation of those residents not connected to Chaim Rumkowski, the ghetto's corrupt and dictatorial leader, and the loss of both parentsæhis mother to the Nazis and his father to tuberculosis, the disease that would claim Sierakowiak at the end. Although Sierakowiak was a Marxist, his political beliefs didn't lead to action of any sort, unlike many of the young leftists in the European ghettos. Instead, he focused almost entirely on food coupons and where he could find work. His obsession with exams, grades and abstract communist theory make the knowledgeable reader, aware of what is to come, scream with exasperation. Sierakowiak didn't have an artist's observant eye, although he was a dedicated reader of literature, so there are no distinctive individuals here aside from the writer himself, nor are there inspirational statements about the innate goodness of people. What is here is a repetitive and detailed account of a population being methodically ground into dust. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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