By Halina Nelken
While Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Halina Nelken used to be a precocious teen, residing a middle-class lifestyles 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 was once pressured into the Jewish ghetto, she endured to jot down, finally smuggling her diary out with a Catholic buddy. This impressive publication tells the tale of Nelken's reviews within the ghetto and later in 8 Nazi focus camps, together with Plaszow, Auschwitz, and Ravensbruck. Her diary entries, written among 1938 and 1943, shape the center of the amount and are supplemented by means of memories written almost immediately after the warfare and through later commentaries and explanatory notes which she additional within the mid-1980s. even if there exist a variety of released and unpublished memoirs by way of Holocaust survivors, Nelken's ebook provides one of many few extant diaries written on the time.
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Extra info for And yet, I am here!
When he graduated from the gimnazium he went to Palestine and then became an electrical engineer on a freighter. Of the whole family only his mother survived, and after the war I gave her a photograph of Runka cut out of a group picture of our elementary school class. Next came Jadowski's, the large grocery and spice store. Grandma liked to choose coffee and tea here rather than riding to Szarski's in the Rynek Glowny *, as my mother did. Marian Jadowski was also a schoolmate of Felek's. The wares in the grocery store were not interesting, but the ones in the next shop were worth admiringfluffy woolens, shiny silks, a mannequin in gold lamé at Mardi gras time, velvets, laces, brocades.
I jumped out of bed screaming. My parents came running. Shaken, I cried hysterically, clutching my mother tightly and glancing furtively at the frightening figure. Following my glance, Mama guessed: "That is what has scared the child! " With the sculpture in his upturned arm, his shadow, a giant shadow stretching from floor to ceiling, scared me even more. A glass china cabinet replaced the big credenza, which was moved to another room. During the Second World War, this beautiful antique went to the Stieglitz Gallery on Rynek Glowny *, Main Square, which had been renamed Adolf Hitler Platz.
Of all my mother's sisters, Aunt Lola was the one I knew and loved the best. She was also the sister closest to my mother, for there was only a three-year difference between them. Lola and my mother had to wear hand-me-downs from their older siblings, and Mama, being the youngest, was in the worst situation. When my mother was still marching to St. Scholastica in her navy blue uniform along Plantya circular park where the medieval walls of the ancient center of Kraków had stoodBronka and Helen were already married.