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Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust Hardcover – April 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Zapruder, who works in the education department at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, has done a great service to history and the future. Her book deserves to become a standard in Holocaust studies classes, particularly those aimed at youth or focusing on individuals. The 14 diaries in this anthology most appearing in English for the first time detail the lives of teens and their families, some on the run, some in camps, some in hiding and some during the chilling last days in the ghettoes in Nazi-occupied Europe. Each is prefaced with a biography of its author, information on family background and, when known, his or her fate. Zapruder also provides other facts that would have been known to the diarists and their peers, providing readers with a more complete context. Their experiences and reactions vary widely. Peter Feigl's parents baptize him as a Catholic and send him to church, but eventually are forced to send him from Austria to France. He blames the Jewish-identified teens around him for the circumstances that have ripped him from his parents. In contrast, Belgian Moshe Flinker becomes more attached to traditional Judaism, but increasingly depressed. His last entry, in the fall of 1943, reads, "I am sitting facing the sun. Soon it will set; it is nearing the horizon. It is as red as blood, as if it were a bleeding wound. From where does it get so much blood? For days there has been a red sun, but this is not hard to understand. Is it not sufficient to weep, in these days of anguish?" These writings will certainly impress themselves on the memories of all readers.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

For the millions who read The Diary of Anne Frank (1952), this collection of 14 Holocaust diaries by young people from all over Europe will extend the history beyond Anne's attic walls. Scholars will want this volume--editor Zapruder's research is meticulous, drawing on archives and museums across the world--but the intensely personal voices of these young people who record the unimaginable will also draw a general audience. In her clear overview and introductions to each diary, Zapruder gives historical context and biography and decries any message of consolation or redemption, pointing out that these stark narratives banish forever the stereotypes of sweet victim, beneficent rescuer, and unfeeling bystander; instead, they suggest the immense complexity of ordinary people. Some writers are dull; some write with heartbreaking power. One diarist focuses on hunger: he's absolutely obsessed with food. Another's anguish is the loneliness, the separation; she cannot forget having to leave her grandmother in the street. The places range from the Czech forests and the Lodz ghetto to Auschwitz and the horrific scenes at liberation. A landmark collection. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300092431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300092431
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on July 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This collection provides 14 generous excerpts from journals of young people during the Shoah; the earliest diaries are from adolescents who got out before or just as things were getting bad, but as we go further on, the diaries get more intense in scope, moving from adolescents who weren't quite sure what was to come, to people who had some inkling but weren't quite sure the rumors were true, to finally young people in ghettos, young people who therefore knew how bad things were, although they didn't yet know what their final grisly fate was to be. Before each excerpt we also get a generous introduction to the author, his or her surroundings, what generally happened to the Jews of that particular city or town, and the diarist's final fate. Some of these young people survived, others perished, and still others' fates are unknown, though they are presumed to have perished. There's also an appendix detailing a number of other young diarists from the Shoah, some information on them, their fates, whether the diary is in a private collection, a museum, if it's been translated into English, or was published for the general public whatever language it's in. A lot of these young diarists were very literate and intelligent astute young people; it's incredibly sad how some of them died so young and therefore didn't get a chance to possibly become great writers. My only small complaint is that Poland is a little overrepresented; while it's true that at least half of the murdered came from Poland and that Poland was the nation that lost the greatest percentage of its prewar Jewish population by far, it would have been nice to have some variety in the locations, like maybe include more diaries from Germany, France, and Belgium, or ones from Holland, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, and Greece, for example.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TheDreamerAtNoon on May 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Even after countless movies and documentaries, nothing has personally ever made me direct as much attention to the tragedy of the holocaust than these young writers' words written in ghettos and in hiding places. Their optimism is heartbreaking when you learn of their fates, you see their struggles with hunger, fear of an uncertain future, their grief over losing loved ones and identity. But you also recognize their strength in troubled times and end up appreciating their courage to write, because you know it is essential that they should be known.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kevin P Reynolds on August 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
i highly recommend this book. it is not only for those with historical interests. the diaries are so moving that this book will appeal to all. the writing is very vivid and the diarist's voice will stay with you for some time. zapruder has done an impecable job of introducing each entry. she sets the scene with such biographical and cultural detail that you feel at one with diarist before delving in. i was really moved by this book and encourage all to read it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Salvaged Pages is quite a unique work in that it is a compilation of numerous diaries written by young people who experienced the Holocaust. Some survived, many others perished in the 'inferno' that was the Shoah. The young diarists ranged in age from twelve to the twenties. The diaries were written by young people who came from various backgrounds and who lived in various parts of Europe such as Germany, Belgium, France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc. Some of the accounts are of Jews who lived in hiding, posing as Aryans, whilst others write of their lives in the impoverished Jewish ghettos such as the Lodz Ghetto and Vilna Ghetto.

There are no photographs here, the only flaw in this book. It would have been interesting to have photographs of some of the diarists, showing their lives before the war, but this might have been difficult to obtain in the cases of the diarists who perished in the Holocaust. The editor has provided an extensive appendix and index, and this is an invaluable primary source for those interested in the Holocaust and for educators (especially in drawing comparisons between Anne Frank's diary and the ones featured here, focusing on themes, etc.).
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