The Diary of Petr Ginz

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Overview

Lost for sixty years in a Prague attic, this secret diary of a teenage prodigy killed at Auschwitz is an extraordinary literary discovery, an intimately candid, deeply affecting account of a childhood compromised by Nazi tyranny. As a fourteen-year old Jewish boy living in Prague in the early 1940s, Petr Ginz dutifully records the increasingly precarious texture of daily life. With a child’s keen eye for the absurd and the tragic, he muses on the prank he played on his science class and then just pages later, ...

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2007 Hardcover New in New jacket Book. 7 By 8 3/4" 1st Edition, The Diary of Petr Ginz is an invaluable historical document & a testament to one remarkable child's ... insuppressible hunger for life. 161 pages + drawings. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Lost for sixty years in a Prague attic, this secret diary of a teenage prodigy killed at Auschwitz is an extraordinary literary discovery, an intimately candid, deeply affecting account of a childhood compromised by Nazi tyranny. As a fourteen-year old Jewish boy living in Prague in the early 1940s, Petr Ginz dutifully records the increasingly precarious texture of daily life. With a child’s keen eye for the absurd and the tragic, he muses on the prank he played on his science class and then just pages later, reveals that his cousins have been called to relinquish all their possessions, having been summoned east in the next transport. The diary ends with Petr's own summons to Thereisenstadt, where he would become the driving force behind the secret newspaper Vedem, and where he would continue to draw, paint, write, and read, furiously educating himself for a future he would never see. Fortunately, Petr's voice lives on in his diary, a fresh, startling, and invaluable historical document and a testament to one remarkable child's insuppressible hunger for life.

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Editorial Reviews

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
So much of young Ginz's writings deal with such sadness. While the diary itself is mainly recitations of the personal and political events of his days, his art and the brief excerpts of his journalism (he founded and edited a magazine in Theresienstadt) and novels reveal a burdened though delicate heart, and a fine mind and hand that were never allowed to grow so much finer.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

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.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
Yet another child lost to the Holocaust, Ginz recorded his artistic aspirations and reactions to the tightening Nazi noose through his incarceration at Theresienstadt and death in Auschwitz at age 16. His diary was recently discovered in a Prague attic. With a 75,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871139665
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2008

    A reviewer

    Can you imagine surviving the Holocaust, while still losing all of your friends and family to the Germen Nazis. Or that your dad is incredibly ill from pleuritic, which causes extreme pain when breathing and he almost dies from it? Well this is the life for a little boy named Petr, who deals with all of these problems, he meets with Chava Pressburger to fill in the rest. In the book, Petr has a normal life, goes to school, does homework, and plays with his family, until at school kids and their families are taken to a concentration camp. Petr¿s father is also sick for a long time, and eventually his family is eventually taken away to the concentration camp too. At the concentration camp in Thereisandant, a town in Germany he is asked to go to another town where eventually he passed away. This book is great for people who want to learn about life during the Holocaust in WWII and what the difficulties were then and how the Jewish people had to struggle to survive. My favorite part is towards the end of the book where he has some of Petr¿s paintings they are really amazing and colorful. My least favorite part is when his dad is suffering and I feel terrible for him. In my opinion, this book is a great book to read because it is tells of a life for a family during the Holocaust and is showing readers that you should see the better side of the problems in your life and be thankful for what you have.

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