McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

April 14, 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
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
NDN Video
NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.