Helga's Diary

Helga's Diary : A Young Girl's Experience of Life in a Concentration Camp

3.86 (1,105 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"Helga's Diary" is a uniquely vivid and complete account of the Holocaust, which will supplement history curriculums like no other memoir. An extremely rare and important publishing event: the diary of a Jewish girl who lived through the Holocaust. In 1939, when her diary begins, Helga is eleven years old. Alongside her father and mother and the roughly 40,000 Jews who lived in Prague at the time, she endures the first wave of the Nazi invasion and racist brutality: her father is denied work, schools are closed to her, she and her parents are eventually confined to their flat. Gradually, as the Nazis' full intentions unfold, deportations begin and her friends and family start to disappear. In 1941, Helga and her parents are sent to the concentration camp of Terezin, where they live for three years, and then, in 1944, Helga's father is sent to Auschwitz. Helga and her mother choose to follow him there, not realising what lies in wait for them. Helga's uncle bricks her diary into a wall to preserve it. Miraculously, Helga and some of her family survive. As Helga writes down her experiences since Terezin, completing the diary at home in Prague, she is fifteen and a half.
Barely a single Jew remains in the city. Written in pencil in school exercise books and translated here for the first time, "Helga's diary" is a moving and exceptionally important first-hand account of the Holocaust. This is a publication of international importance and a book that will endure for decades. Helga Weiss was born in Prague in 1929. Her father Otto was employed in the state bank in Prague and her mother Irena was a seamstress. Of the 15,000 children brought to Terezin and later deported to Auschwitz, only 100 survived the Holocaust. Helga was one of them. In 1954 she married the musician Jiri Hosek. She has two children, three grandchildren and lives to this day in the flat where she was born.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 140 x 203mm
  • Puffin Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141344369
  • 9780141344362

Review quote

What's startling, throughout, is the resilience with which her buoyant spirit keeps bobbing up past the hardships, indignities, and cruelties of her captors. --Francine Prose
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About Helga Weiss

Helga Weiss was born in Prague in 1929. Her father Otto was employed in the state bank in Prague and her mother Irena was a dressmaker. Of the 15,000 children brought to Terezin and later deported to Auschwitz, only 100 survived the Holocaust. Helga was one of them. On her return to Prague, Helga studied art and has become well known for her paintings. In 1954 she married the musician Jiri Hosek. She has two children, three grandchildren and lives to this day in the flat where she was born.
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Rating details

1,105 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 28% (309)
4 37% (409)
3 29% (324)
2 5% (55)
1 1% (8)
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