Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

April 8, 2013

Ghetto's final hours revealed in diary 70 years after Holocaust

JERUSALEM — "People are suffocating because of the smoke. All shout for help. Many, almost everyone, call upon God, 'God show your power, have mercy on us.' God is silent as a sphinx and does not reply."

These were the final words from a makeshift diary scribbled on both sides of five pages of graph paper by an unidentified young woman hiding in a bunker as the Nazis closed in on what remained of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The diary runs from April 23, 1943, and ends 17 days later on May 10. It is the first real glimpse into the daily lives of about 40,000 Jews hiding in bunkers as the ghetto burnt above them and the Jewish underground fought the Germans, scholars said as it was shown to Bloomberg by Yad Vashem staff. Sunday's Holocaust Memorial Day commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising.

"We hear so much about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising from the fighters' point of view," said Havi Dreyfus, a senior lecturer at Tel Aviv University and the head of Yad Vashem's center of research into the Holocaust in Poland. "Here we have a Jewish youngster telling us important information, the experience that was common to tens of thousands of Jews."

The writing of the young woman reminds the reader of a much more famous diarist — Anne Frank, whose book "The Diary of a Young Girl," first published in Dutch in 1947, details her life hiding in a secret annex for more than two years to escape the Nazis.

"It's interesting when you juxtapose the two teenaged women with radically different Holocaust experiences," said David Silberklang, senior historian at Yad Vashem's International Institute for Holocaust Research. "Their stories end the same way, in death."

Frank was in hiding with her family for two years in relatively quiet conditions that allowed her to think about boys and her appearance "in the midst of terror," he said. The Warsaw teenager, on the other hand, wrote with "death staring her in the face, amid stench and smoke and suffocation."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Web Extra
  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 22, 2014

  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    The paper looked at how many delicious steamed sliders the minimum wage has been able to purchase over time. The point is that as it notes, in 1981, the $3.35 minimum could buy a whole dozen. Today, at $7.25, it could purchase just 10.

    April 22, 2014

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 22, 2014

  • NIA Space station art 042114 'Easter Dragon' has special delivery for space station Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA New planet art 041814 Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected -- a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 17, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page