Not since Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl has such an intimately candid, deeply affecting account of a childhood compromised by Nazi tyranny come to light. As a fourteen-year-old Jewish boy living in Prague in the early 1940s, Petr Ginz dutifully kept a diary that captured the increasingly precarious texture of daily life. His stunningly mature paintings, drawings, and writings reflect his insatiable appetite for learning and experience and openly display his growing artistic and literary genius. Petr was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz at the age of sixteen. His diariesrecently discovered in a Prague attic under extraordinary circumstancesare an invaluable historical document and a testament to one remarkable child’s insuppressible hunger for life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This has the same flaws and virtues as Anne Frank's diary, or any Holocaust diary for that matter. Petr's story is poignant, especially given his intelligence and artistic/literary talent, and the reader inevitably wonders what sort of contributions he would have made to the world if he hadn't been murdered in Auschwitz at the age of 16. His essays and drawings show great promise. The list of characters at the end of the story, and their fates (most were lost to the Holocaust) can bring tears to your eyes.But Petr's diary itself, the bulk of the book, is quite banal and boring with entries like "Home all this morning, then this afternoon at school." Just a few spare sentences of the day's activities. It was obviously not meant to be read by anyone else, and it shows very little of the spirit of the boy behind the pen. This book would have been better off as a memoir, or a biography of Petr with excerpts from his diary, rather than the whole thing which is a slog to get through.
Need longer sample