The secret diary of Renia Spiegel, a Polish teenager murdered by the Nazis in 1942, is to be published after 70 years lying untouched in a bank vault.
The diary is titled: Renia’s Diary: A Young Girl’s Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust and is being released by members of Renia Spiegel’s family.
Her sister Elizabeth said: “I have read only some of it because I used to cry all the time,” “She was very intelligent. She was the head of the literacy programme in her school. And she was very, very kind and always thoughtful.”
The Spiegel family lived in Przemysl, south-east Poland. Starting when Renia was 15, she wrote about bombing raids, being forced to go into hiding and the disappearance of Jewish families from the Polish ghetto.
The book started being translated by Elizabeth’s daughter, Alexandra, in 2012.
Here is an entry from the 7th of June, 1942:
Wherever I look, there is bloodshed. Such terrible pogroms. There is killing, murdering. God Almighty, for the umpteenth time I humble myself in front of you, help us, save us! Lord God, let us live, I beg You, I want to live! I’ve experienced so little of life. I don’t want to die. I’m scared of death. It’s all so stupid, so petty, so unimportant, so small. Today I’m worried about being ugly; tomorrow I might stop thinking forever.
Renia Spiegel was shot dead in July of 1942 at the age of 18 by German soldiers who discovered her hiding in the attic of a house after she had escaped from the ghetto.
The diary is set to be published the 17th of September, 2019.