And Yet, I Am Here! by Halina Nelken

By Halina Nelken

While Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Halina Nelken was once a precocious fifteen-year-old, dwelling a middle-class existence in Krakow. Like different women her age, she recorded her own observations and emotions in a diary. As stipulations in Krakow deteriorated and her kin used to be pressured into the Jewish ghetto, she persevered to write down, ultimately smuggling her diary out with a Catholic good friend. This notable ebook tells the tale of Nelken's reviews within the ghetto and later in 8 Nazi focus camps, together with Plaszow, Auschwitz, and Ravensbröck. Her diary entries, written among 1938 and 1943, shape the center of the quantity and are supplemented by way of reminiscences written almost immediately after the struggle, and via later commentaries and explanatory notes which she extra within the mid-1980s. even supposing there exist a variety of released and unpublished memoirs through Holocaust survivors, Nelken's e-book provides one of many few extant diaries written on the time. Already published in Polish and German variations, it's been hailed as one of many most interesting works of its type. Now it really is on hand in English for the 1st time.

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And Yet, I Am Here!

While Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Halina Nelken used to be a precocious fifteen-year-old, residing a middle-class existence in Krakow. Like different ladies her age, she recorded her own observations and emotions in a diary. As stipulations in Krakow deteriorated and her family members used to be compelled into the Jewish ghetto, she persisted to put in writing, finally smuggling her diary out with a Catholic pal.

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There stood my bed. A wide-open door led to the combination dining and living room. Half the wall space opposite the door was taken up by Page 2 an enormous credenza which looked like a mighty castle flanked by two turrets and decorated with carvings and little galleries. In the niche between them stood a statue of a horned Moses in a wind-blown gown, walking down Mount Sinai and carrying the tablets of the Ten Commandments. I was afraid of this dark and formidable sculpture. One night, the light from the other room woke me and I suddenly imagined that Moses was about to hurl those tablets at me.

My nanny sat on the bench with the other nannies and they told each other horror stories: that someone threw acid into someone's eyes out of revenge; that someone poisoned himself with iodine; that this was the island of suicides, because a young couple had committed suicide here with shots from a revolver. The oldest of the children, Janka, explained to us what that meant, and after that I never wanted to play on Planty. I used to go with my nanny to Podgórski Park or to Krzemionki, and so that I wouldn't get bored she used to take my friends from Dlugosza * Street along, Anda, Stefa, and her older sister, Janka.

Lola later perished in Theresienstadt, together with her devoted, noble son and his young wife. When Bronka, Hela, and Lola were already happily married, my mother grew up and developed into a long-legged, slender suckjust at a time when feminine charm depended on wide hips and abundant breasts! After graduating from the St. Scholastica school, she attended private courses for young ladies. Every morning on her way through Planty, she would find, on a particular bench, a small bouquet of spring flowers, mostly violets "to match her eyes," said the note hidden among the flowers.

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