By Halina Nelken
While Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Halina Nelken used to be a precocious youngster, residing a middle-class existence in Krakow. Like different women her age, she recorded her own observations and emotions in a diary. As stipulations in Krakow deteriorated and her kin was once pressured into the Jewish ghetto, she persevered to jot down, finally smuggling her diary out with a Catholic buddy. This awesome e-book tells the tale of Nelken's stories 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 quantity and are supplemented through memories written almost immediately after the conflict and by means of later commentaries and explanatory notes which she further within the mid-1980s. even if there exist various released and unpublished memoirs by means of Holocaust survivors, Nelken's e-book offers one of many few extant diaries written on the time.
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Extra info for And yet, I am here!
After the death of his beloved grandfather, my father matured quickly. Instead of returning to the carefree life of a Viennese bachelor, he joined the Polish Legions organized by Marshal Józef Pilsudski * and went to war against Russia. When the Polish Legionnaires were incorporated into the Austrian army in 1916, my father was sent to the Italian front. Badly wounded in the battle of the Isonzo River, he was transported to a hospital in Vienna. My mother went to see him whenever she visited her sister.
Scholastica school, she attended private courses for young ladies. Every morning on her way through Planty, she would find, on a particular bench, a small bouquet of spring flowers, mostly violets "to match her eyes," said the note hidden among the flowers. On a neighboring bench, a young student looked up furtively from the book he was pretending to be reading to check whether his declarations of love were reaching the right girl. Their innocent romance ended with the young man's departure to a university abroad.
In Kraków, she had a season ticket to the Slowacki * Theaterin those times there was a new premiere each week. She educated all her children well and saw her daughters married to good husbands. Was hers just a narrow, circumscribed, small, middle-class world? Perhaps it was. But how much more peaceful it was than the unlimited personal freedom of our time. Grandma was not lonely. She had a circle of mostly female friends and a large and loving family. I knew them from old photographs in the fancy albums Grandma allowed me to look at whenever I was miserable in bed with one of my endless childhood illnesses.