Last updated on September 13, 2019
The profound and tragic account of a Jewish woman trying to endure the terrors of occupied Poland during the Holocaust has been printed.
“Renia’s Diary,” place to be published on Sept. 24 at the USA, was likened by publishers into the narrative of Anne Frank and will be a classic of Holocaust literature.
Renia Spiegel, born in southern Poland in 1924, started writing her journal in 1939 with fantasies of being a poet. She had been living with her grandparents and sister at the south-west town of Przemysl as soon as the war broke out, separating her from the mother that was at Warsaw.
While her narrative reflects the terror of living in warfare — fleeing air raids immediately and discovering the disappearance of Jewish households — it’s also an earnest account of falling in love and finding her voice as a writer.
“I only need a friend. I need someone to speak to about my everyday stresses and joys,” she wrote in 1939.
She recorded mundane shifts within her life and school amid the start of the war to document the violence of the Nazi occupation and the introduction of a ghetto.
“I live here today; the entire world is separated in me, and I am separated from the entire world,” she wrote in July 1942.
Spiegel was shot dead by German soldiers in 1942, just before her 18th birthday, after being discovered in concealing.
The 700 pages she stuffed over a four-year interval were abandoned along with her boyfriend, Zygmunt, who also wrote the last entrance following her passing.
He was able to split the journal with somebody for safekeeping before he had been delivered to Auschwitz. Publisher St. Martin’s Press says it is uncertain how the text survived the war, but Zygmunt recovered the journal and finally returned it to Spiegel’s sister, Elizabeth Bellak, that escaped New York City.
Elizabeth could not bring herself to read the journal and instead kept it in a bank vault until 2012 when her daughter uttered the journal and had it translated. Elizabeth donated a prologue and epilogue to the book.