S: I made a book muh!
FC: Ruska Laskier
2: Laskier was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdask, a port city in northern Poland) where her father, Jakub (Yaakov) Laskier, worked as a bank officer. Her family was well off. In 1943, at the age of 14, Laskier wrote a 60-page diary in Polish, chronicling several months of her life under Nazi rule.
3: MAKING MEMORIES
5: From January 19 to April 24, 1943, without her family's knowledge, Laskier kept a diary in an ordinary school notebook, writing in both ink and pencil, making entries sporadically. In it, she discussed atrocities she witnessed committed by the Nazis, and described daily life in the ghetto, as well as innocent teenage love interests. She also wrote about the gas chambers at the concentration camps, indicating that the horrors of the camps had filtered back to those still living in the ghettos.
6: The diary begins on January 19 with the entry "I cannot grasp that it is already 1943, four years since this hell began." One of the final entries says "If only I could say, it's over, you die only once... But I can't, because despite all these atrocities, I want to live, and wait for the following day."
7: "The friends we meet on the path of life make the trip worth while."
8: "The rope around us is getting tighter and tighter. Next month there should already be a ghetto, a real one, surrounded by walls. In the summer it will be unbearable. To sit in a gray locked cage, without being able to see fields or flowers, and it reminded me that one day I would be able to go to Malachowska Street without taking the risk of being deported. Being able to go to the cinema in the evening. I'm already so "flooded" with the atrocities of the war that even the worst reports have no effect on me..."(Feb. 5, 1943)
9: EASTER | happy | Spring Time
10: so many
11: "The little faith I used to have has been completely shattered. If God existed, He would have certainly not permitted that human beings be thrown alive into furnaces, and the heads of little toddlers be smashed with butt of guns or be shoved into sacks and gassed to death." | LIVE WELL LAUGH OFTEN LOVE MUCH
12: “I have a feeling that I am writing for the last time. There is an Aktion in town. I’m not allowed to go out and I’m going crazy, imprisoned in my own house For a few days, something’s in the air The town is breathlessly waiting in anticipation, and this anticipation is the worst of all. I wish it would end already! This torment; this is hell. I try to escape from these thoughts, of the next day, but they keep haunting me like nagging flies” (20 February 1943).
14: In 1943, while writing the diary, Laskier shared it with Stanisawa Sapiska (21 years old, at that time), whom she had befriended after Laskier's family moved into a home owned by Sapiska's Roman Catholic family, which had been confiscated by the Nazis so that it could be included in the ghetto.
15: Happy Father's Day | Laskier gradually came to believe that she would not survive, and, realizing the importance of her diary as a document of what had happened to the Jewish population of Bdzin, asked Sapiska to help her hide the diary. Sapiska showed Laskier how to hide the diary in her house under the double flooring in a staircase, between the first and second floors.
17: Laskier's family was forced to move to Bdzin's Jewish ghetto during World War II. It was revealed in 2008 that she was not sent to the gas chambers. In a published account of her time in Auschwitz, Zofia Minc, who was a fellow prisoner, revealed that Laskier slept in the barrack next to her until falling victim to a cholera outbreak in December 1943. The girl wheeled Laskier's still-living body to the crematorium. Rutka begged Zofia to take her to the electric fence where she could kill herself, but an SS guard following them would not allow it.
18: Summer Time!
19: After the ghetto was evacuated and all its inhabitants sent to the death camp, Sapiska returned to the house and retrieved the diary. She kept it in her home library for 63 years and did not share it with anyone but members of her immediate family. In 2005, Adam Szydowski, the chairman of the Center of Jewish Culture of the Zagbie Region of Poland, was told by one of Sapiska's nieces about the existence of the diary.