Thursday, June 07, 2007

New memories, same atrocities

Being the recollections of one Rutka Laskier, age 14 at her presumed death:
...The diary, published by Israel's Holocaust museum, documents the steady collapse of the ghetto under the weight of the Nazi occupation and deportations, as well as the first loves, friendships and jealousies of an adolescent girl growing up during the war.

News of the concentration camps, and the brutal killings of Jews, filtered through to her. Writing on February 5 1943, she said: "I simply can't believe that one day I will be allowed to leave this house without the yellow star. Or even that this war will end one day. If this happens I will probably lose my mind from joy.

"The little faith I used to have has been completely shattered. If God existed, he would have certainly not permitted that human beings be thrown alive into furnaces, and the heads of little toddlers be smashed with the butt of guns or be shoved into sacks and gassed to death."

Later she wrote: "The rope around us is getting tighter. I'm turning into an animal waiting to die." Her final entry is brief: "I'm very bored. The entire day I'm walking around the room. I have nothing to do."

The last entry is dated April 24 1943, at which point she hid the notebook in the basement of the house her family were living in, a building confiscated by the Nazis to be part of the Bedzin ghetto. In August that year, the teenager and her family were transported to Auschwitz and it is thought she was killed immediately.

No comments: