Jewish Values: Rutka's Notebook: A Voice from the Holocaust

Publication Year: 
Number of Pages: 
90 p.
A Jewish girl’s diary from 1943 was hidden under Polish floorboards in 1943, retrieved in 1945, and miraculously rediscovered only in 2006, allowing Zahava Laskier Scherz to explore the brief life of the half-sister she never knew. Like Anne Frank, Rutka Laskier did not survive the Holocaust, but her diary did. Opposite each page of the diary, Scherz explains and comments on the journal entries, adding relevant historic photos of the family and their community. In this extraordinary book, readers become a “fly on the wall” of a Jewish adolescent in war time Poland. We see how Rutka uses her diary as her escape – how she writes about the ups and downs of teenage life to avoid thinking about her fate. Ghetto news, deportations, and Aktions are juxtaposed against descriptions of friends and adolescent angst. More and more, Rutka retreats into a shell of bravado – “I couldn’t care less” – and claims to be indifferent, even as “the rope around us is getting tighter and tighter” and she clearly knows what is coming. Rutka died in Auschwitz in 1943. This gem of a book is a memorial to her keen intelligence.
Book ID: 
Sydney Taylor Winner: