As we near a world where survivors of the Holocaust are soon to be figures of the past, the stories, memories, and mementos of those who are still among us start to hold an even greater weight than they already did. Elizabeth Bellak is one such survivor who decided, after decades of hiding away her sister’s diary, to share it with the world.
Renia Spiegel was a young Jewish girl living in Poland when Hitler came to power. Her diary chronicles the time before Hitler and the war all the way to her experiences living and hiding in a ghetto before being killed by the Nazis. Renia’s Diary is exactly what its title betrays: a diary. Renia shares with us her feelings about school, her friends, boys, her complicated relationship with her mother who is not with her, as well as poetry to encapsulate it all.
The historical importance of a document like this makes readers wonder what historians will glean from the text through close and continued reading over the years.
Full of interesting details and facts about the time, as well as melodramatic, teenage angst, Renia’s Diary is a diary in every way, sharing the inner most thoughts and feelings of a young girl living through the hardest time of her life.
Slated for publication by St. Martin’s Press in September 2019, you can preorder a copy of Renia’s Diaryfrom your local independent bookstore.
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FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.
2 thoughts on “‘Renia’s Diary: A Holocaust Journal’”
I’ve been curious about this one but not always in the mood to read a diary. That’s such an interesting point about what historians will be able to take from it eventually!
I hear that! It’s definitely a different kind of read and something you have to be in the mood for since it leaves out all of those storytelling elements we are so used to: plot, narrative arc, character development, etc.