Renia's Diary

Renia's Diary

Author
Renia Spiegel
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
Poland, 1939. Renia is a young Jewish girl, living in Przemysl with her sister and grandparents. Born in 1924, she was just 15 when the war started. She was separated from her mother because of the war and although she tried to get to Warsaw - where her mother was = she never made it.
When her town was bombed by the Germans, she and her family fled and made their way to Lwow, however, the Russians invaded that city and she eventually returned to her home town after the Polish Army surrendered Lwow to the Soviet troops.

This book is being hailed as a classic of Holocaust literature, and I cannot argue with that statement. I received this book in the third week of lockdown and put off reading it for a long time. I didn't want to add to the feeling of isolation that accompanied that time, but I know that I was being selfish. After all, I was in a comfortable house, with plentiful food, entertainment and family around me. I wasn't fearing for my life every minute, I wasn't suffering deprivation and hardship, nor was I watching or hearing that my friends and relatives were being taken away to a hellish place, there to suffer and die. In short, a book like this puts so many of our fears and worries into a grim perspective and when I did read it, I found a story of hope, of love and beauty. It's not an easy read by any means, but it is a most worthwhile read. There is, of course, no happy ending, but that should not deter the reader, rather it should inspire and uplift us at the strength of the human spirit.

Do please read this book.

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