ISBN-10:
0195122852
ISBN-13:
9780195122855
Pub. Date:
05/14/1998
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak: Five Notebooks from the Lodz Ghetto

The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak: Five Notebooks from the Lodz Ghetto

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Overview

"In the evening I had to prepare food and cook supper, which exhausted me totally. In politics there's absolutely nothing new. Again, out of impatience I feel myself beginning to fall into melancholy. There is really no way out of this for us." This is Dawid Sierakowiak's final diary entry. Soon after writing it, the young author died of tuberculosis, exhaustion, and starvation—the Holocaust syndrome known as "ghetto disease." After the liberation of the /Lód'z Ghetto, his notebooks were found stacked on a cookstove, ready to be burned for heat. Young Sierakowiak was one of more than 60,000 Jews who perished in that notorious urban slave camp, a man-made hell which was the longest surviving concentration of Jews in Nazi Europe.
The diary comprises a remarkable legacy left to humanity by its teenage author. It is one of the most fastidiously detailed accounts ever rendered of modern life in human bondage. Off mountain climbing and studying in southern Poland during the summer of 1939, Dawid begins his diary with a heady enthusiasm to experience life, learn languages, and read great literature. He returns home under the quickly gathering clouds of war. Abruptly /Lód'z is occupied by the Nazis, and the Sierakowiak family is among the city's 200,000 Jews who are soon forced into a sealed ghetto, completely cut off from the outside world. With intimate, undefended prose, the diary's young author begins to describe the relentless horror of their predicament: his daily struggle to obtain food to survive; trying to make reason out of a world gone mad; coping with the plagues of death and deportation. Repeatedly he rallies himself against fear and pessimism, fighting the cold, disease, and exhaustion which finally consume him. Physical pain and emotional woe hold him constantly at the edge of endurance. Hunger tears Dawid's family apart, turning his father into a thief who steals bread from his wife and children.
The wonder of the diary is that every bit of hardship yields wisdom from Dawid's remarkable intellect. Reading it, you become a prisoner with him in the ghetto, and with discomfiting intimacy you begin to experience the incredible process by which the vast majority of the Jews of Europe were annihilated in World War II. Significantly, the youth has no doubt about the consequence of deportation out of the ghetto: "Deportation into lard," he calls it. A committed communist and the unit leader of an underground organization, he crusades for more food for the ghetto's school children. But when invited to pledge his life to a suicide resistance squad, he writes that he cannot become a "professional revolutionary." He owes his strength and life to the care of his family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195122855
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 05/14/1998
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Alan Adelson is Executive Director of the Jewish Heritage Project in New York. he produced, and with Kathryn Taverna co-directed, the acclaimed documentary film º\dï Ghetto.

Table of Contents

One Life Lost
3(16)
Notebook 1: June 28-December 31, 1939 Lodz is occupied
19(56)
Notebook 2: April 6-October 23, 1941 Never-ending hunger
75(70)
Notebook 3: March 18-May 31, 1942 We live in constant fear
145(34)
Notebook 4: June 4-September 6, 1942 The bloodthirsty Nazi beast
179(48)
Notebook 5: November 11, 1942-April 15, 1943 There is no way out
227(42)
The Photographs and Photographers 269

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The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak: Five Notebooks from the Lodz Ghetto 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was isued to me by a teacher and i wasent going to read it then i finaly opened it and i bega reading and it just hit me that WOW this really did happen... and it just felt like i was in a nightmare.... A++++++.. recomended