RENIA SPIEGEL was a young girl from an upper-middle class Jewish family living in Stawki, Poland. In 1939, she began a diary in which she documented her days. In 1942, she was rounded up by the invading Nazis and forced to move to the ghetto in Przemysl with all other Jews. Renia was in the ghetto for two weeks until she was killed.
"Readers will naturally contrast Renia's diary with Anne Frank's. Renia was a little older and more sophisticated, writing frequently in poetry as well as in prose. She was also living out in the world instead of in seclusion. Reading such different firsthand accounts reminds us that each of the Holocaust's millions of victims had a unique and dramatic experience. At a time when the Holocaust has receded so far into the past that even the youngest survivors are elderly, it's especially powerful to discover a youthful voice like Renia's, describing the events in real time."--journalist Robin Shulman, for Smithsonian magazine "When you read a diary and then another and another, you realize what we all know about ourselves and about our own time... For those people whose lives were taken from them in such a brutal and unjust way, especially so young, to be able to preserve that memory and share it, I think is an act of really profound humanity."--Alexandra Zapruder, expert in young wartime diarists, at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum event"Reading Renia's dramatic and moving diary you realize how quickly the world we think we know can completely change. We never expected our magazines to reach mailboxes the very same weekend as the worst attack against Jews in American history."-- Albert Horvath, Smithsonian's chief operating officer, at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum event