Rutka's Notebook

A Voice From the Holocaust

When was I Born? Who was in my Family?

I was born in 1929. I was born a few years before World War ll started. I was born in Poland, where I lived with my family my entire life, which sadly was not very long. My family was a well off Jewish family. My mother's name was Dvorah, and my father's name was Yaacov. I also had a brother named Henius, who was eight years younger than me. The only member of my family to survive World War ll was my father, Yaacov.

What was my Childhood and Education like?

Before the Holocaust started, my childhood was very carefree and happy. My family was a wealthy Polish family, and so I went to a private school. The Holocaust started when I was about ten years old. I was not allowed to go out without a yellow star badge to show that I'm Jewish, there was a curfew for Jewish people like myself, and there were rations for food. As a fourteen year old, I was forced by law to work in "shops," which are really factories with bad conditions, and my family was forced to move to a Jewish ghetto with inhumane conditions. I witnessed terrible things happening to people, like a baby being brutally murdered by a German soldier. Those last four years before I died at age fourteen were miserable, and the conditions were terrible for Polish Jews like myself.

What was my Path to Notoriety? What am I Remembered For?

I wrote a diary about my life and what World War ll was like for me. I started writing it in 1943 in the last few months before I died. I wrote about the horrors that were happening around me, like small children being killed and elderly people being beaten. I documented those events and wrote about World War ll from my perspective as a young Jewish girl from Poland.

Am I still Alive?

I am not. At age fourteen, my family and I were deported to Auschwitz extermination camp. My mother, grandmother, and younger brother were gassed when they got there. I survived for a couple of months at the extermination camp until I developed cholera. I died from cholera at the extermination camp sometime in December aged fourteen.

What might a Reader Take from my Story?

A reader might realize that perseverance and resilience are very important. They also might learn that it is important not to lose hope. A student might learn about how awful World War ll was for many people including young children, and it is important for the world to learn from its mistakes.