Dawid Rubinowicz: September 1, 1940

Dawid Rubinowicz was twelve years-old when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. It was the Geman occupation that prompted Dawid to begin keeping a diary.

On September 1, 1940, Dawid took notice of the importance of that date. He wrote, “Today’s the first anniversary of the outbreak of war. I remember what we’ve already gone through in this short time, how much suffering we’ve already experienced.” This is a heartbreaking comment for us to read, because we know that there was so much suffering yet to come.

When Dawid wrote this diary entry, he was thinking in particular about the loss of the family dairy business and the hardships that unemployment forced on his family. In a larger sense, though, the war was the source of all Dawid’s problems. All of the deprivation and fear that he suffered came in the wake of the German army. Loss of the chance for an education was especially painful. Dawid tried to study on his own, but he missed going to school. He felt trapped by the many dangers that faced by the simple act of leaving the house.

The war brought even worse dangers that Dawid did not yet see in 1940. A little more than a year later, the family would be forced out of their home into a ghetto. Two years later, Dawid was murdered in Treblinka. The Nazis used the brutal environment of war as a cover for genocidal killing. Without the war, this crime would have been much more difficult, perhaps even impossible to carry out.

You may find out more about Dawid and his family here.

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