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Chava Pressburger

Author of The Diary of Petr Ginz

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Chava Pressburger was born Eva Ginzová. She and her older brother Petr Ginz had a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother. Theirs was a liberal, Zionist home. When Bohemia and Moravia were annexed by Germany in 1939, the siblings were considered Jews. In 1942, Petr was deported to Theresienstadt (Terezin), and Eva followed in May 1944. She was placed in an orphanage for girls and put to work. She managed to meet up with Petr, who taught her English, read to her, and checked up on her studies. Petr had written and illustrated five novels between the ages of 8 and 14. He continued to write short stories and articles and edited the underground youth newspaper, Vedem. In September 1944, Petr was deported to Auschwitz and killed. Eva kept a journal in which she described her life in the camp. Most of the journal was later published in Salvaged Pages (2002), an anthology of young writers during the Holocaust. In February 1945, the siblings' father Otto arrived at Theresienstadt. Otto and Eva survived, and returned to their home in Prague at the end of the war. Later another young Theresienstadt survivor who had hidden Petr’s art and writing gave them to Otto. Chava studied art in Prague, and in 1948 moved first to Vienna and then to Paris with Abraham Pressburger, who later became her husband. In 1949, the couple emigrated to Israel, settling in Beersheva. There Chava continued to create and teach art. In 1993, she received the Sussman Prize for her Holocaust-related artwork. She published Petr’s journal, with the help of Yad Vashem, as "Diary of My Brother."
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