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BOOKS

The Diary of Petr Ginz

Petr Ginz Elena Lappin

RRP: £9.99

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781843545545

RRP: £16.99

14 June 2007

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781843545538

Petr Ginz was a Czech ‘Mischling’ who was sent to Theresienstadt work camp in 1942, aged 13. Two years later he was sent to his death in Auschwitz. His recently-discovered diaries make for mesmerizing and poignant reading.

In 1941, Petr Ginz was a young teenager living in Prague with his parents and sister. Adventurous, artistic and optimistic, he wrote poems and novels and edited a children’s magazine inside the work camp at Theresienstadt. Originally written in his special code-language, Petr’s diaries described daily life for the Ginz family and documented the introduction of anti-Jewish laws from a young adult’s point of view – pithy and unsentimental. The writing stopped in 1942 when Petr received his summons, but the books survived in a Prague attic. They recently came to light in extraordinary circumstances and, they were published in the CzechRepublic in 2005 to a storm of publicity. Edited by his sister, Chava, and including background material and beautiful reproductions of Petr’s artwork, this book encapsulates the soul and wisdom of a child caught in an adults’ war.