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One page of a journal kept by Klaus Peter (later Pierre) Feigl, an Austrian/German Jewish refugee child living in France during World War II.

One page of a journal kept by Klaus Peter (later Pierre) Feigl, an Austrian/German Jewish refugee child living in France during World War II. ——US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Peter Feigl

Introduction

“If my life ends, what will become of my diary?”
–Last entry in the diary of Chaim Kaplan, published as Scroll of Agony

Among the most personal and immediate accounts of life under Nazi tyranny are the many diaries kept by persons of all ages and backgrounds. In these journals, diarists recorded their private reactions to major events and life-changing incidents, such as the deportation of loved ones or acts of resistance in the ghettos. But diaries also capture the seemingly mundane, everyday tasks—gathering food, playing with friends, caring for family members—rendered all the more poignant because they were written in the shadow of Nazi persecution. The diaries often reflect a sense of belonging to the larger community of Jews targeted by the Nazis for ghettoization and, as many diarists came to realize, for extermination. Moreover, many diarists, such as those who recorded their thoughts for the underground Ringelblum Archives (“Oneg Shabbat”) in the Warsaw Ghetto, sensed that they were writing for posterity, recording events around them so that they would not be forgotten. By gathering and publishing these diaries, survivors and their loved ones have ensured that the writers and their stories are remembered long after they are gone.

The following bibliography was compiled to guide readers to published diaries of Holocaust victims and survivors in English as well as works about these diaries that are in the Library’s collection. It is not meant to be exhaustive. Annotations are provided to help the user determine the item’s focus, and call numbers for the Museum’s Library are given in parentheses following each citation. Those unable to visit might be able to find these works in a nearby public library or acquire them through interlibrary loan. Follow the “Find in a library near you” link in each citation and enter your zip code at the Open WorldCat search screen. The results of that search indicate all libraries in your area that own that particular title. Talk to your local librarian for assistance.

Anthologies

  • Adelson, Alan, and Robert Lapides, editors. Lodz Ghetto: Inside a Community under Siege. New York: Viking, 1989. (DS 135 .P62 L6441354 1989) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents a history of the Łódź ghetto as recorded in diaries, journals, speeches, and original documents. Includes excerpts from diaries written by Dawid Sierakowiak, Jakub Poznanski, Jozef Zelkowicz, and others.

  • Boas, Jacob, editor. We are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers who Died in the Holocaust. New York: Henry Holt, 1995. (D 804.3 .W385 1995) [Find in a library near you]

    A collection of diaries relating various experiences of teenagers from different parts of Europe. Provides background and biographical information about each child’s life as well as portions from their diaries. Includes endnotes and an index.

  • Dobroszycki, Lucjan, editor. The Chronicle of the Łódź Ghetto, 1941–1944. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984. (DS 135 .P62 L64413513 1984) [Find in a library near you]

    Abridged translation of the archives prepared by the administrators of the Łódź ghetto. Maintains the original diary format employed by the original authors to record all aspects of life in the ghetto during the period between January 1941 and July 1944. Includes maps, photographs, a list of street names, and an index.

  • Holliday, Laurel, editor. Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries. New York: Pocket Books, 1995. (D 804.3 .C45 1995) [Find in a library near you]

    Collection of excerpts from 23 diaries of children and teenagers, both Jews and non-Jews, documenting their experiences during World War II. Describes a variety of experiences such as life in ghettos, concentration camps, bombed cities, and Nazi prisons. Includes a brief biography for each diarist.

  • Kermish, Joseph, editor. To Live with Honor and Die with Honor: Selected Documents from the Warsaw Ghetto Underground Archives “O.S.” (“Oneg Shabbath”). Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1986. (DS 135 .P62 W3743 1986) [Find in a library near you]

    Collection of materials preserved and hidden in the Warsaw Ghetto Underground Archives, created to document daily life in the ghetto. Contains portions of diaries, newspapers, literary works, and many other records. Includes a glossary of terms and abbreviations, a bibliography, and an index.

  • Zapruder, Alexandra, editor. Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002. (D 804.48 .S33 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    Collection of select sections of 14 diaries kept by teenagers during the Holocaust. Provides a brief biography of each diarist. Contains an extensive appendix providing an annotated list of known diaries written by young people during the war, endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

Diaries of Individuals

  • Berg, Mary. The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing up in the Warsaw Ghetto. Oxford: Oneworld, 2006. (DS 135 .P63 B463 2006) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary of a young girl documenting the period between October 1939 and March 1944. Recounts daily life in the Warsaw ghetto, describing interactions with other residents and the struggle to keep friends and families together, life in an internment camp in France, and Berg’s eventual journey to the United States. Includes photographs, endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

  • Berr, Hélène and David Bellos. The Journal of Hélène Berr. New York: Weinstein Books, 2008. (DS 135 .F9 B498413 2008) [Find in a library near you]

    Chronicles the daily life, eventual arrest, and deportation to Auschwitz and eventual transfer to Bergen-Belsen of Hélène Berr, a young Jewish woman living in France. Includes maps, suggestions for further reading, list of acronyms and special terms, list of books mentioned in the diary, list of streets and places, and an index.

  • Carano, Steve, John C. Bitzer, Bill Blackmon, and Kay Sloan. Not Without Honor: The Nazi POW Journal of Steve Carano with accounts by John C. Bitzer and Bill Blackmon. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2008. (D 805.5 .S737 C37 2008) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents the wartime diary of an American POW imprisoned in Stalag XVII B, near Krems, Austria. Includes excerpts from fellow POWs, John C. Bitzer and Bill Blackman. Includes an index.

  • Cohen, Nathan, editor. “The Last Days of the Vilna Ghetto — Pages from a Diary.” Yad Vashem Studies 31 (2003): 15-59. (DS 135 .E83 Y3 v.31) [Find in a library near you]

    Translation of a diary kept by Gabik Heller, a teenager in the Vilna ghetto, documenting the period from February to September of 1943. Describes his work and visits in the library, his desire to join the resistance, and the final liquidation of the ghetto.

  • Cytryn, Abraham. A Youth Writing Between the Walls: Notebooks from the Lodz Ghetto. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2005. (DS 135 .P63 Z4713 2005) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents the translated notebook of a young boy who later died in Auschwitz, containing short stories, poems, and diary entries expressing the destitution of life in the ghetto. Includes photographs.

  • Czerniaków, Adam. The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow: Prelude to Doom. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1999. (DS 135 .P62 W2613 1999) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents an English translation of entries from the nine secret notebooks kept by Adam Czerniaków, the chairman of the Judenrat (Jewish Council) in the Warsaw ghetto, beginning with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and continuing to July, 1942, when the author committed suicide. Documents Czerniaków’s daily interactions with Nazi officials, including his struggle to improve conditions in the ghetto and attempts to negotiate for the lives of its inhabitants. Includes a documentary appendix with translations of key documents from Czerniaków’s time as head of the Judenrat.

  • Diment, Michael. The Lone Survivor: A Diary of the Lukacze Ghetto and Svyniukhy. New York: Holocaust Library, 1991. (DS 135 .R93 L6433 1991) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary of a man who escaped the Lukacze ghetto, detailing daily life, the slaughter of the ghetto inhabitants, and Diment’s escape. Documents the period from the German invasion of the Ukraine in June 1941 until the author’s liberation on April 16th, 1944.

  • Dorian, Emil. The Quality of Witness: A Romanian Diary, 1937-1944. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1982. (DS 135 .R73 D67313 1982) [Find in a library near you]

    Journal of a Jewish writer and physician living in Bucharest during World War II. Describes the situation for Jews in Romania and records political and personal events. Includes a preface by the author’s daughter.

  • Driefuss Ben-Sasson, Havi. “Hell Has Risen to the Surface of the Earth: An Anonymous Woman’s Diary from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.” Yad Vashem Studies 36, pt. 2 (2008): 13–43. (DS 135 E83 Y3 v. 36 pt. 2) [Find in a library near you]

    Examines the diary of an unknown woman from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Includes excerpts of the diary and footnotes.

  • Flinker, Moishe. Young Moshe’s Diary: The Spiritual Torment of a Jewish Boy in Nazi Europe. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1971. (D 811.5 .F5453 1971) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary of a Belgian teenage boy who died with his parents in Auschwitz. Focuses on his strong identification with the rest of the Jewish community and his feelings of guilt for living safely with his family.

  • Frank, Anne. The Diary of Anne Frank: The Revised Critical Edition. New York: Doubleday, 2003. (DS 135 .N5 A53413 2003) [Find in a library near you]

    Collects all of Anne Frank’s known writings, including different versions of her diary and her short stories. Also includes a summary of the document examination and handwriting identification analysis completed in 1986 by the Netherlands State Forensic Science Laboratory. For more resources about Anne Frank and her diary, see the Library's annotated bibliography on the subject.

  • Ginz, Petr. The Diary of Petr Ginz, 1941-1942. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007. (DS 135 .C97 G55413 2007) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents translated diary entries and writings from the notebooks of Petr Ginz, a Czech Jew who was deported to Theresienstadt in 1942. Includes translations of pieces Petr wrote for the magazine Vedem published in Theresienstadt, a list of the fate of all persons mentioned in the text, and reproductions of several drawings from Petr’s journals.

  • Hahn, Lili. White Flags of Surrender. Washington, DC: R.B. Luce, 1974 (DD 256.5 .H26913 1974) [Find in a library near you]

    Records the observations of a young woman with a non-Jewish father and Jewish mother as the Third Reich slowly gained power in Germany. Displays how ordinary citizens gradually transformed under the new political power and became trapped in Nazi ideology, and the ways in which some Germans resisted Nazism.

  • Herzberg, Abel J. Between Two Streams: A Diary from Bergen-Belsen. London: I.B. Tauris, 1997. (DS 135 .N6 H47 1997) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary compiled from notes kept by a man in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp documenting the period between August 1944 and April 1945. The author was among a group of Jews selected for a possible exchange with the Allies for German prisoners and so was saved from extermination and forced labor, but still suffered under terrible conditions. Includes an introduction by the author and footnotes provided by the translator.

  • Hillesum, Etty. Etty: The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2002. (DS 135 .N6 H54813 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    Complete collection of a young woman’s writings detailing her life in Amsterdam, her relationship with the psychochirologist Julius Spier, and her time spent in the Westerbork camp where she worked for the Jewish council. Includes photographs, extensive endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

  • Humbert, Agnès. Résistance: A Woman's Journal of Struggle and Defiance in Occupied France. New York: Bloomsbury, 2008. (D 805 .G3 H7713 2008) [Find in a library near you]

    Details the author’s life during Nazi occupation as a member of the French Resistance, her time in various prisons, and later in a displaced persons camp. Includes photographs, an appendix of documents on the resistance, a bibliography, and an index.

  • Kalmanovitsh, Zelig. “A Diary of the Nazi Ghetto in Vilna.” YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science 8 (1953): 9–81. (DS 101 .Y52 v.8) [Find in a library near you]

    Records the activities of a man in the Vilna ghetto from June of 1942 to June of 1943 before he was deported and killed in an extermination camp. Documents Kalmanovitsh’s belief that it was best to follow Nazi commands in order to lessen the brutality of the Nazis and to patiently wait for liberation by the Allies.

  • Kaplan, Chaim Aron. Scroll of Agony: The Warsaw Diary of Chaim A. Kaplan. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999. (DS 135 .P62 W27713 1999) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents extensive observations of Jewish life in Warsaw before the establishment of the ghetto and throughout its existence, as recorded by Chaim Kaplan, a leading Hebrew scholar in the city. Records the increasingly futile struggle for food and relief in the ghetto, as news of the war and rumors of Nazi plans for the Jews of Warsaw came into focus over time. Includes annotations throughout as well as an extensive index.

  • Kaszas, Susan. From Love to Triumph: The Holocaust Diary of Mrs. Susan Kaszas. Ridgewood, NJ: AIL NewMedia, 2002. (DS 135 .H93 K375 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    Writings of a Hungarian woman who continuously refers to her love for her husband as her motivation to survive. Contains a prologue and epilogue by the author’s son, photographs, and a CD with a narrated edition.

  • Katzenelson, Itzhak. Vittel Diary (22.5.43-16.9.43). Tel Aviv: Ghetto Fighters’ House, 1964. (D 811.5 .K3913 1964) [Find in a library near you]

    Journal of a poet and dramatist living in Poland, documenting his time in the Vittel internment camp between May and September 1943, before his deportation and death in Auschwitz. Begins as he and his son arrive at the camp and describes his horror and sorrow at the annihilation of his fellow Jews. Includes biographical notes and an appendix of place names and terms.

  • Kermish, Joseph, editor. “Daily Entries of Hersh Wasser.” Yad Vashem Studies 15 (1983): 201-282. (DS 135 .E83 Y3 v.15) [Find in a library near you]

    Translation of a diary kept by Hersh Wasser, a Polish Zionist who was active in the effort to record life in the Warsaw Ghetto as part of the Ringelblum Archives (“Oneg Shabbat”). Includes diary entries from December 1940 through May 1942, documenting the harsh conditions in the ghetto and the increasingly violent actions of the Nazis toward ghetto inhabitants.

  • Kermish, Joseph, editor. “Extract from the Diary of Abraham Levin.” Yad Vashem Studies 6 (1967): 315-330. (DS 135 .E83 Y3 v.6) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents diary excerpts from June and July, 1942, kept by historian Abraham Levin in the Warsaw ghetto and stored as part of the Ringelblum Archives (“Oneg Shabbat”).

  • Klemperer, Victor. I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years. New York: Random House, 1998. (DS 135 .G3315 K54513 1998) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary of an honored Jewish war veteran and professor who was stripped of his former life by the Nazis, but was saved from deportation because of his marriage to a non-Jewish woman. Provides detailed observations of life in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. Includes endnotes, a chronology of the author’s life, and an index.

  • Klonitski, Aryeh. The Diary of Adam’s Father: The Diary of Aryeh Klonicki (Klonymus) and His Wife Malwina, with Letters Concerning the Fate of their Child Adam. Jerusalem: Beit Lohamei Haghetaot/Ghetto Fighters House, 1973. (D 811.5 .K5713 1973) [Find in a library near you]

    Translation of a diary kept by a husband and wife covering a two-week period during the final liquidation phase of Jews from the Galicia region. Documents the last weeks of their lives as they hide from the Nazis as well as their fears for their infant son, whom they gave to a Christian family. Includes letters concerning the missing son, photographs, and a history of the family.

  • Kohnová, Věra. Deník Věry Kohnové. Středokluky: Zdeněk Susa, 2006. (DS 135 .C97 K656 2006) [Find in a library near you]

    Documents the final months of the Jewish community of Pilsen as recorded in the diary of a young Jewish girl. Includes accounts of daily life before Nazi occupation in late 1941, continuing through the establishment of the ghetto and concluding with the diarist’s eventual deportation in January 1942. Presents English and German translations alongside reproductions of the original Czech diary.

  • Korczak, Janusz. Ghetto Diary. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003. (DS 135 .P62 W277613 2003) [Find in a library near you]

    Writings of a renowned Polish author and pediatrician who ran an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto and died with the orphans in Treblinka because he refused to abandon them. Reveals Korczak’s daily struggles to protect the children from deportation. Includes a short biography of the author.

  • Kruk, Herman. The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania: Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the Camps, 1939-1944. New Haven, CT: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 2002. (DS 135 .L52 V554813 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    Journal of a man describing the Vilna ghetto and a labor camp in Estonia, documenting the period from September 1939 until the day before he was killed in September 1944. Presents a detailed account of all aspects of daily life as well as news reports and poems. Includes photographs, an index, and an appendix of place names.

  • Lewin, Abraham. A Cup of Tears: A Diary of the Warsaw Ghetto. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988. (DS 135 .P62 W314 1988) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary kept by a secondary-school teacher, documenting the period between April 1942 and January 1943. Recounts stories of daily life in the ghetto, including the struggle to find food, efforts of Polish citizens to assist ghetto inhabitants, and news of the mass murder of Jews and Poles by the Nazis. Reproduces photographs of the ghetto and includes endnotes and an index.

  • Lieblich, Ruthka. Ruthka: A Diary of War. Brooklyn, NY: Remember, 1993. (DS 135 .P63 L54 1993) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary kept by a thirteen-year-old Polish girl from August 1940 through December 1942. Initially focuses on her relationship with her family and friends and her participation in a study circle, then concentrates on living conditions under Nazi occupation. Includes appendixes containing letters between the author and her friends and a statement from her cousin.

  • Marcuse, Gunther. “The Diary of Gunther Marcuse: The Last Days of the Gross-Breesen Training Center.” Yad Vashem Studies 8 (1970): 159-181. (DS 135 .E83 Y3 v.8). [Find in a library near you]

    Presents a young man’s journal kept during his last few months in an agricultural training center, from October 1942 until February 1943, before he was deported and killed in Auschwitz. Conveys routine events at the center as well as the author’s fears that he will not emigrate in time. Includes footnotes.

  • Matsas, Nestoras. This Child Died Tomorrow: The Holocaust Diary of a Greek Boy. New York: Pella, 2003. (DS 135 .G73 M3713 2003) [Find in a library near you]

    Account written by a twelve-year-old boy from March to October 1944 describing the Nazi invasion of Athens. Translated by a twelve-year-old Greek American boy, the diary describes the author’s means of survival, such as selling cigarettes in brothels. Contains many notes by the translator as well as a brief history of the Greek Jews.

  • Mechanicus, Philip. Year of Fear: A Jewish Prisoner Waits for Auschwitz. New York: Hawthorn Books, 1968. (D 805 .N4 M413 1969) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary of a Dutch Jewish journalist maintained during his imprisonment in Westerbork. Documents the deteriorating relations between prisoners in the camp run by Jewish inmates as they competed for power.

  • Nelken, Halina. And Yet, I Am Here! Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999. (DS 135 .P63 N4413 1999) [Find in a library near you]

    Records the experiences of a teenage Polish girl who was imprisoned in several concentration camps, including Plaszow and Auschwitz. Begins a year before the war and describes the sudden change in her life as she was forced into the Krakow ghetto and later to the camps. Contains supplemental sections written shortly after the war and later reflections of the author, as well as photographs and a glossary of terms.

  • Plotkin, Abraham. An American in Hitler’s Berlin: Abraham Plotkin’s Diary, 1932-33. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009. (DD 857 .P53 A3 2009) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents selections from the diary of American labor activist Abraham Plotkin, who was stationed in Berlin from November 1932 until 1933. Includes his articles on the German labor movement, photographs, a chronology of German political events from 1930 until 1933, and an index.

  • Redlikh, Egon. The Terezin Diary of Gonda Redlich. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1992. (D 805 .C9 R4313 1992) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents the diaries of a Czech Zionist youth leader interned in Theresienstadt. Relates the efforts of prisoners to create a social life as well as the author’s personal feelings of guilt at sometimes having to select others for transport. Contains a separate diary he wrote for his new son, an index, and extensive annotations.

  • Ringelblum, Emanuel. Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto: The Journal of Emmanuel Ringelblum. New York: Schocken Books, 1974. (DS 135 .P62 W3313 1974) [Find in a library near you]

    Preserves the day-to-day eyewitness accounts of the archivist of the Warsaw ghetto, culled not only from Ringelblum’s experiences but also stories related to him by people of various backgrounds within the ghetto. Presents entries along with brief editorial comments to provide context, beginning before the creation of the ghetto in 1940 and continuing through the uprising and destruction of the ghetto in 1943. Includes a chronology pairing events in the ghetto diary with milestones in the history of World War II and the Holocaust.

  • Rosenfeld, Oskar. In the Beginning Was the Ghetto: Notebooks from Łódź. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2002. (DS 135 .P63 R67813 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    Collection of several notebooks of a Jewish author deported from Prague who served in the Statistical Office in the Łódź ghetto. Documents daily life in the ghetto with a focus on the deplorable living conditions. Includes endnotes.

  • Roubíčková, Eva Mándlová. We’re Alive and Life Goes On: Theresienstadt Diary. New York: H. Holt & Company, 1998. (DS 135 .C97 R68 1998) [Find in a library near you]

    Records a young girl’s experiences throughout her entire internment at Theresienstadt. Details her daily life, including her work at the camp farm and garden, smuggling food, losing friends to transports, and worrying about her fiancé in England. Includes an author’s note and a glossary of names that appear frequently in the diary.

  • Rozenberg, Lena Jedwab. Girl with Two Landscapes: The Wartime Diary of Lena Jedwab, 1941-1945. New York: Holmes & Meier, 2002. (DS 135 .R95 R68 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary kept by a teenage girl from eastern Poland who left her Soviet-controlled town for a summer camp in Lithuania just weeks before the Nazis invaded her town. Describes her move deeper into the Soviet Union to schools and orphanages for refugee children as well as her fears for her family. Includes a semi-autobiographical short story which the author wrote during the war.

  • Rubinowicz, Dawid. The Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz. Edmonds, WA: Creative Options, 1982. (DS 135 .P63 R8313 1982) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents the diaries of a twelve-year-old Polish boy written between 1940 and 1942. Describes the Nazi occupation of Poland and the increasingly harsh decrees targeting Jews. Contains photographs.

  • Rudashevski, Yitskhok. The Diary of the Vilna Ghetto, June 1941-April 1943. Tel Aviv: Ghetto Fighters’ House, 1973. (D 810 .J4 R8183 1973) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary of a boy who died during the liquidation of the Vilna ghetto. Records events occurring in the ghetto and his activities with Rudashevski’s school and youth club. Contains endnotes and appendixes including a testimony by the author’s cousin describing her discovery of the diary.

  • Sebastian, Mihail. Journal, 1935-1944. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2000. (DS 135 .R73 S38713 2000) [Find in a library near you]

    Holocaust Encyclopedia

    Holocaust Encyclopedia

    Explore our comprehensive entries on the events, people, and places of the Holocaust.

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    Journal of a Jewish writer living in Bucharest who evaded deportation because of his connections in Romanian society. Describes the rise of fascist power in Romania, the intellectual society of Bucharest, and events in the author’s personal life. Includes a list of key individuals mentioned in the journal and an index.

  • Seidman, Hillel. The Warsaw Ghetto Diaries. Southfield, MI: Targum Press, 1997. (DS 135 .P62 W348 1997) [Find in a library near you]

    Eyewitness account of the final months of the Warsaw ghetto written by the ghetto’s chief archivist, beginning in July 1942 and continuing through April 1943. Documents the burgeoning resistance movement and the eventual destruction of the ghetto by the Nazis. Includes a forward written by the author’s family as well as copies of documents and photographs.

  • Senesh, Hannah. Hannah Senesh: Her Life and Diary. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights, 2004. (CT 1919 .P38 S3668 2004) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary kept by Senesh, a Hungarian Zionist, from the ages of 13 to 22. Covers her school days, her move to Palestine, and joining the British army. Includes letters and selected poems by the author, memoirs by her mother, and testimonies of two soldiers who parachuted with Senesh into Yugoslavia where she was killed.

  • Sheinkinder, S. “The Diary of S. Sheinkinder.” Yad Vashem Studies 5 (1963): 255-269. (DS 135 E83 v.5) [Find in a library near you]

    Translated excerpts of a diary kept by a journalist in the Warsaw ghetto. Documents the daily struggles in the ghetto as well as the author’s efforts as part of the editorial board of the magazine Moment.

  • Sierakowiak, Dawid. The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak: Five Notebooks from the Łódź Ghetto. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. (DS 135 .P62 L64434 1996) [Find in a library near you]

    Collection of diaries written by a teenager in the Łódź ghetto, documenting the period between June 1939 and April 1943. Chronicles daily life in the ghetto. Contains photographs.

  • Spencer, Hanna. Hanna’s Diary, 1938-1941: Czechoslovakia to Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001. (D 811.5 .S67 2001) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary of a Czech Jewish woman who kept a journal of things she wished she could write to her lover, a prominent Christian composer who cut off his correspondence with her after the beginning of World War II. Describes the increasing harassment and persecution she faced before successfully emigrating to England, then to Canada in 1941. Includes an appendix listing the fates of individuals mentioned in the text.

  • Tory, Avraham. Surviving the Holocaust: The Kovno Ghetto Diary. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990. (DS 135 .L52 K3882 1990) [Find in a library near you]

    Diary kept by a secretary of the Jewish council in the Kovno ghetto. Describes the formation of the ghetto and daily events under Nazi occupation, interspersed with official Nazi and Jewish Council documents collect by the author. Contains an epilogue by the author, photographs and sketches, maps, annotations, and an index.

  • Zelkowicz, Josef. In Those Terrible Days: Writings from the Lodz Ghetto. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2002. (DS 135 .P62 L68 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents the writings and diary entries written by the author while working as a teacher of Yiddish and for the archives in the Łódź ghetto. Includes photographs and footnotes.

Secondary Sources and Analyses

  • Ben-Amos, Batsheva. “A Multilingual Diary from the Łódź Ghetto.” Gal-Ed: On the History of the Jews in Poland 19 (2004): 51-74. (DS 135 .P6 G34 v.19) [Find in a library near you]

    Analyzes an anonymous diary written in English, Hebrew, Polish, and Yiddish by a resident of the Łódź ghetto. The diary was written in the margins of a novel during the final months of the ghetto. Includes endnotes.

  • Farbstein, Esther. “Diaries and Memoirs as a Historical Source; the Diary and Memoir of a Rabbi at the Konin House of Bondage.” Yad Vashem Studies 26 (1998): 87-128. (DS 135 .E83 Y3 v.26) [Find in a library near you]

    Compares a diary and a memoir written by the same person, both of which provide descriptions of the author’s internment in the Konin labor camp. Discusses the necessity of using memoirs alongside diaries, where possible, to better understand historical events.

  • Garbarini, Alexandra. Numbered Days: Diaries and the Holocaust. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006. (D 804.348 .G37 2006) [Find in a library near you]

    Analyzes the various motivations and purposes for keeping diaries during the Holocaust and the reasons diarists kept writing throughout their ordeals. Primarily based on unpublished diaries. Includes endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

  • Kassow, Samuel D. Who Will Write Our History?: Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007. (DS 135 .P62 W2774 2007) [Find in a library near you]

    Account of Emanuel Ringelblum’s life and the history of the secret group Oneg Shabbat dedicated to chronicling life in the Warsaw Ghetto. Provides guidelines for further study. Includes extensive endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

  • Laqueur, Renata. “Writing in Defiance: Concentration Camp Diaries in Dutch, French and German, 1940-1945.” Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1971. (D 811.5 .W3823 1971) [Find in a library near you]

    Literary analysis of 14 diaries secretly kept by prisoners in seven different concentration camps. Examines the use of diaries as a way to escape the dehumanizing realities of life in the camp and cling to some sense of hope as a way to survive.

  • Patterson, David. Along the Edge of Annihilation: The Collapse and Recovery of Life in the Holocaust Diary. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999. (D 804.195 .P36 1999) [Find in a library near you]

    Examines over 50 diaries of Jewish victims, focusing on the spiritual aspect of keeping a diary and the influence of Jewish traditions on their diaries. Includes endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

  • Shapiro, Robert Moses, editor. Holocaust Chronicles: Individualizing the Holocaust through Diaries and Other Contemporaneous Personal Accounts. Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1999. (D 804.18 .H67 1999) [Find in a library near you]

    Collection of papers presented at a 1993 conference exploring the ways diaries have been and can be used to gain insight into the experiences of both Jews and non-Jews during the Holocaust. Includes essays on published and unpublished diaries from Warsaw, Vilna, Łódź, and elsewhere in Nazi-dominated Europe.

  • Young, James E. “Interpreting Literary Testimony: A Preface to Rereading Holocaust Diaries and Memoirs.” New Literary History 18, no. 2 (Winter, 1987): 403-423. (Subject files) [Find in a library near you]

    Discusses the need by readers to approach Holocaust diaries as subjective narratives of personal experiences, rather than as objective evidence of the events described.

Film and Video

  • Children Remember the Holocaust [videorecording]. Van Nuys, CA: Churchill Media. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Examines the plight of Jewish children during the Holocaust as revealed through readings from their diaries, along with photographs and film footage.

  • Lazin, Lauren. I’m Still Here: Real Diaries of Young People who Lived during the Holocaust. New York: MTV Networks, 2008. (DVD Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents excerpts from original diaries written by children and teenagers during the Holocaust, as read by several leading young actors. Includes a printable study guide for use in classrooms.

Additional Resources

Subject Headings

To search library catalogs or other electronic search tools for diaries written during the Holocaust, use Library of Congress subject headings of the type [name of individual]–Diaries, e.g. Frank, Anne, 1929-1945–Diaries, to retrieve the most relevant citations.

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