Book Review: ‘Renia’s Diary: A Holocaust Journal’ By Renia Spiegel

A long held diary by a young girl started in 1939 by Renia Spiegel and kept in a bank safe deposit box for centuries is now being published by her sister. A diary that was somehow kept after Renia was killed by her boyfriend and then given to her mother who gave it to her sister Elizabeth. The diary is Renia’s friend. Her mother was stuck in German controlled Warsaw and Reina was with her Grandparents in southeastern Poland, when the Russians invaded Poland. She started writing her thoughts and feelings for over two years.

Yes Renia had real friends but this was her way to cope. No one knew about the diary until years after her death. Much like Anne Frank’s diary, Renia writes about her day to day activities and what she was feeling. She also wrote a lot of great poetry, which you can read as you go threw the book. She writes about everything. Bomb raids, food shortages and missing her mother and hoping that she will be able to see her again. She talks about her boyfriend Zygmund and how Jews are being rounded up. Zygmund tried to save her but was unable.

Elizabeth writes at the end of her experiences as well and the book has a forward by Deborah Lipstadt, who’s a Holocaust expert.

This is a heart-felt book that will touch the core of your body. What these poor people had to go through was horrible. You really feel for Renia, her family and friends. We get to experience this without actually having to live through it. A brave, young girl who only wanted to live a full live, can now for a brief time be remembered for who she was. You may need some tissues handy by the time you finish the book.

You can pick up Renia’s Diary: A Holocaust Journal in stores on Tuesday, September 24th from St. Martin’s Press.

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