Rutka's Notebook: A Voice from the Holocaust

Overview

Rutka Laskier, a 14-year-old Jewish girl in the town of Bedzin in Poland, died in Auschwitz in 1943. But she left behind a notebook in which she recorded her thoughts, fears and dreams. Some are the musings of any adolescent girl; others are the despairing cries of an individual caught in history's vortex. Now, after 60 years in the keeping of a friend, that notebook has been recovered - and it opens a unique, moving window into the everyday life of Polish Jews caught in the throes of Adolf Hitler's Final ...
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Overview

Rutka Laskier, a 14-year-old Jewish girl in the town of Bedzin in Poland, died in Auschwitz in 1943. But she left behind a notebook in which she recorded her thoughts, fears and dreams. Some are the musings of any adolescent girl; others are the despairing cries of an individual caught in history's vortex. Now, after 60 years in the keeping of a friend, that notebook has been recovered - and it opens a unique, moving window into the everyday life of Polish Jews caught in the throes of Adolf Hitler's Final Solution. Hailed as the "Polish Anne Frank," Rutka Laskier now speaks to us across the decades: a witness to evil, a voice for the silent, and a timeless symbol of resolve. The editors of TIME add annotations, photos, maps, and quotations that help bring this tragic era into compelling focus for today's readers.
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Editorial Reviews

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The girl inquisitively eying the photographer on the cover of this book is Rutka Laskier, a Polish Jewish girl who barely lived to her teenage years. Before little Rutka disappeared into the suffocating smoke of Auschwitz, she briefly kept a journal. This handwritten notebook, with entries from January 19 to April 24, 1943, veers jarringly between talk of adolescent crushes and disturbing recognitions of the unfolding Holocaust. Indeed, in the very first words of the diary, Laskier writes, "I cannot grasp that it is already 1943, four years since this hell began." Laskier's mature reflections and youthful hope have reminded many earlier readers of another young journal keeper: Anne Frank.
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up- Rutka Laskier was a Jewish teenager in Poland during World War II. For a few short months, before being deported to a concentration camp, she kept a diary describing her experiences. It was kept safe by a non-Jewish friend for 60 years following the war, and was finally published in Poland and Israel. This is the first U.S. edition. The diary itself is a combination of wartime horrors, social gossip, and teen angst. Photos and editorial notes clarify the situations that Laskier describes. While her writing lacks the narrative and philosophical qualities of Anne Frank's, it reveals in its ordinariness the tragedy of normal life cut short. More interesting than the book itself is the story of its survival and meaning. Accompanying essays describe its hiding and rediscovery, the turbulent life of Rutka's father (the family's only survivor), a younger half sister's discovery of Rutka's existence, the context of the diary in the canon of teen Holocaust writing, and more. A must-have for Holocaust collections, and a solid purchase for general YA collections.-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603200196
  • Publisher: Time / Yad Vashem
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.62 (d)

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