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

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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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: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #881,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though this is a collection of diaries and writings by adolescents (ranging in age from 12 to 21), it's not a young adult book. It's more academic. Many if not most of the diary excerpts included are either out of print elsewhere or have never been published before. The diaries vary in quality and in detail, reflecting the variety of writers; the only thing they have in common is they were young Jews in occupied Europe. Each diary is prefaced with a detailed introduction describing what is known of the author's life and fate. The book also includes two excellent appendices which list other known young people's Holocaust diaries, and discusses other personal Holocaust writings that don't fall within the scope of the author's project.

This is, I believe, a definitive collection and should be included in every library's Holocaust section. (In fact, after keeping the book as a reference/re-read for over a year, I donated it to my own library which did not have a copy.) I was very impressed by the editor's scholarship and the wide range of diaries included. I only wish the author would put out a new edition, since in the decade since this book's publication, several more young people's Holocaust diaries have been discovered and published.
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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: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am always looking for other 'voices' from the holocaust. I've had many classes read Anne Frank's diary and other books that were written after the experiences as adults. This book gives a clear insight into the thoughts, lives, and writings of other children caught in the midst of the experience. The variety of entries provided comparisons with Anne's experience. We read selected excerpts and viewed the DVD by MTV at the same time. My high schoolers found the stories very compelling.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want a first hand look and experience of thise whoi suffered and died in the Holcaust, this book cannot be matched since it is written by those who were persecuted and died in the Holocoust. I dare to say everyone should read this out of respect for what those persecuted went though and what better way than through their own words which they wrote and hoped we would read. These are truly salvaged pages. It is deeply personal, powerful and important.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome, awesome, awesome! My students love this book... I swear to you they just begged me the other day to let them keep reading after the timer went off. Includes a collection of diaries written by teenagers during the Holocaust. Each chapter begins with background information about the child before the actual diary entries. When possible, it tells if the child surivved or perished. If unknown, it sometimes speculates. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
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