A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp
Publication Date: February 2014
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In 1941, Helga and her parents were sent to the concentration camp of Terezin. There, Helga continued to write with astonishing insight about her daily life: the squalid living quarters, the cruel rationing of food, and the executions as well as the moments of joy and hope that persisted in even the worst conditions. In 1944, Helga and her family were sent to Auschwitz. Before she left, Helga's uncle, who worked in the Terezin records department, hid her diary and drawings in a brick wall. Miraculously, he was able to reclaim them for her after the war.
Of the 15,000 children brought to Terezin and later deported to Auschwitz, only 100 survived. Helga was one of them. Reconstructed from her original notebooks, the diary is presented here in its entirety. With an introduction by Francine Prose, a revealing interview between translator Neil Bermel and Helga, and the artwork Helga made during her time at Terezin, Helga's Diary stands as a vivid and utterly unique historical document.
Helga Weiss was born in 1929. After the war, she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and became an artist. She lives to this day in the house where she was born.
Francine Prose is the author of twenty works of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, a Director's Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Prose is a former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her most recent book is Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932. She lives in New York City.