One year into the Nazi occupation of Prague, 11 year-old Helga Weiss started a diary. Deportations began and friends and family disappeared. She wrote through three years of incarceration in Terezin until her father was sent to Auschwitz. Helga and her mother followed. Her uncle bricked her notebooks into a wall.
Helga’s father died in Auschwitz, but mother and daughter miraculously survived and eventually returned to Prague, where Helga wrote up the missing years aged 15-1/2.
Helga’s Diary bears comparison with that of Anne Frank as a rare first-hand contemporary record of the Nazi era by a young woman. Helga came to Jewish Book Week to present the first full English translation of her story.
Born in 1929, Helga Weiss was one of only 100 children to survive out of 15,000 deported to Auschwitz from Terezin. Married to musician Jiri Hosek, she became an artist, mother of two and grandmother of three. She lives to this day in the Prague flat where she was born.
In association with the Czech Centre, London and Youth Aliyah.
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