First person survivor accounts, mainly written after the war, highlight the terrible suffering experienced by individuals during the Holocaust. Diary accounts kept at the time of the events confirm these details, but with an additional twist. They also reveal the most immediate concerns of the author at the time of writing. Very often, these diary entries revolve around the writer’s hopes and fears for loved ones. This perspective reminds us that the Holocaust was just as much a crime against families as it was against individuals.
Eva Ginzova was imprisoned in Theresienstadt when she turned fourteen years-old. That was the requirement for Czech children considered by the Nazis to be “half-Jewish”. She had to leave her parents and join her older brother Petr who was already there, but he was sent away a few months after she arrived. Eva’s diary entry for November 13, 1944 revealed how lonely and concerned she was for her family. She wrote, “Today I received two letters from home. Mummy writes that she was in bed for a week, she was ill, poor old Mummy. I’m so worried about Mummy, whether she has completely recovered now and what was wrong with her. Dear God, why does the war have to go on so long? …There hasn’t been any news of Petr, I’m so unhappy. I hope that Daddy won’t come here, otherwise Mummy would be left at home all on her own.” It was only after she had recorded her feelings about her parents and brother that Eva wrote about other topics, such as friends and conditions in the ghetto.
Eva’s perspective mirrored that of many other Holocaust victims. She was so concerned for her family members that their fate became the central element of much of her writing. When the war ended, she was reunited with her mother and father. After she arrived at home, she stopped writing in her diary, except for one last line. Two years after liberation, Eva made one final entry in her diary. She wrote, “Petr hasn’t come back.”
Learn more about Eva Ginsova’s family tree and her adult life from an interview that may be found here.
A film has been made about the life of Petr Ginz. You may read about it here.
Holiday closings on Sept 7, 14, 23, 28 and Oct 5
October 8, 2015 at 7:30 PM
Program: The Current State of Antisemitism
September 20, 2015 at 2:00 PM
FILM: Playing for Time special screening
Monday - Thursday 9 AM - 4 PM
Friday 9 AM - 1 PM
Sunday 1 PM - 4 PM
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The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida · 851 N Maitland Ave · Maitland, FL 32751 · Phone: 407-628-0555 · firstname.lastname@example.org