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The Diary of Petr Ginz

by Petr GINZ, Chava Pressburger (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2318118,733 (3.67)2
"As a fourteen-year-old Jewish boy living in Prague in the early 1940s, Petr Ginz dutifully kept a diary that captured the increasingly precarious texture of daily life. Petr was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz at the age of sixteen, and his diaries - recently discovered in a Prague attic under extraordinary circumstances - now read as the prescient eyewitness account of a meticulous observer.""Petr was a young prodigy - a budding artist and writer whose paintings, drawings, and writings reflect his insatiable appetite for learning and experience. He records the grim facts of his everyday life with a child's keen eye for the absurd and the tragic - when Jews are forced to identify themselves with the yellow star of David, he writes "on the way to school I counted sixty-nine 'sheriff' " - and throughout, his youthful sense of mischief never dims. In the space of a few pages, Petr muses on the prank he plays on his science class, and reveals that his cousins are being made to turn over all their furniture and belongings, having been summoned east in the next transport." "The diary ends with Petr's own summons to Thereisenstadt, where he would become the driving force behind the secret newspaper, Vedem ("We Lead"), and where he would continue to draw, paint, write, and read, furiously educating himself for a future he would never see."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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» See also 2 mentions

English (3)  Italian (2)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  Yiddish (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 3 of 3
Petr and his sister Chara Pressberger, who presents his diary in this compilation, were the children of a mixed marriage between their Jewish father and 'Aryan' mother. Both were born in Prague, Petr in 1928, and Chava two years later. After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia they were classified as Jewish under the Nuremberg Race Laws. after the occupation of Czechoslovakia. They were excluded by law from the public schools, enrolling instead at a school for Jewish children, wore a yellow star in public and they were required to be taken from their parents and deported to Theresienstadt ghetto at when they turned 14. Petr's diary, which he began in September 1941 when he was 13 is a daily record of the everyday events of his life until August 1942 when the diary tails away for no apparent reason. In October he was deported to Theresienstadt. When Chava turned 14 she was in turn deported. brother and sister were briefly reunited there before Peter, who was transported with other children to be be gassed at Auschwitz.
e w after the occupation German law September 1941 when when he was 13. He continued to record the every day events of his life in Prague over a period of 11 months of the following year.
Petr was 13, was written over a period of six months. He made the last entry in February of the following year. It consists for the most part of brief notes recording the daily events of his like ( )
  Pauntley | Jun 23, 2024 |
This is the diary of Petr (Peter) Ginz, a Jewish teenager living in Prague, Czechoslaviakia during the middle years of WW2.

The diary was fascinating to read. This Kid Petr was interested in so many different subjects, especially science, just like me!! He was also a rather good artist as well. Many of his drawings and artworks have survived as well as some of his diaries.

Petr was sent to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in 1942 when he was 14 years old. His younger sister Eva arrived at Theresienstadt in 1944 when she also turned 14. Petr was shipped off to Auschwitz some 2 months after Eva's arrival.

Eva Ginzova was liberated from Theresienstadt in 1945. She is now called Chava Pressburger.

The diary entries were interesting - well those that said more then just, went to school, went home, or nothing special.

The only complaint I have is that the list of people and relatives whom Petr mentions is not at the front of the diary. Instead this list is found at the back. So I went through the diary not knowing who everyone was in relation to Petr.

That lack of names (at the front) drops this down to 4 stars. ( )
  Robloz | Sep 23, 2021 |
This has the same flaws and virtues as Anne Frank's diary, or any Holocaust diary for that matter. Petr's story is poignant, especially given his intelligence and artistic/literary talent, and the reader inevitably wonders what sort of contributions he would have made to the world if he hadn't been murdered in Auschwitz at the age of 16. His essays and drawings show great promise. The list of characters at the end of the story, and their fates (most were lost to the Holocaust) can bring tears to your eyes.

But Petr's diary itself, the bulk of the book, is quite banal and boring with entries like "Home all this morning, then this afternoon at school." Just a few spare sentences of the day's activities. It was obviously not meant to be read by anyone else, and it shows very little of the spirit of the boy behind the pen. This book would have been better off as a memoir, or a biography of Petr with excerpts from his diary, rather than the whole thing which is a slog to get through.

Another problem: I don't know whether this was done intentionally or not, but the book fails to show at ALL just what an unpleasant place Petr was being sent to. They make Terezin/Theresienstadt, the concentration camp he was deported to once he turned 14, sound like an arts camp or boarding school. When in fact it may not have been Auschwitz, but it was a terrible place to live with rampant overcrowding and starvation and overwork and disease, and many people died there. I don't understand why the book mislead the reader in that way. ( )
1 vote meggyweg | Mar 6, 2009 |
Showing 3 of 3
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» Add other authors (42 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
GINZ, Petrprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pressburger, ChavaEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Faure, BarboraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foer, Jonathan SafranIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franck, EdTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Friedländer, SaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huarte, KepaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lappin, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Novobilská, VěraTradukintosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Novobilský, VlastimilTradukintosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perissutti, Anna MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
PRESSLER, MirjamForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Profousovà, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valenzuela, FernandoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"As a fourteen-year-old Jewish boy living in Prague in the early 1940s, Petr Ginz dutifully kept a diary that captured the increasingly precarious texture of daily life. Petr was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz at the age of sixteen, and his diaries - recently discovered in a Prague attic under extraordinary circumstances - now read as the prescient eyewitness account of a meticulous observer.""Petr was a young prodigy - a budding artist and writer whose paintings, drawings, and writings reflect his insatiable appetite for learning and experience. He records the grim facts of his everyday life with a child's keen eye for the absurd and the tragic - when Jews are forced to identify themselves with the yellow star of David, he writes "on the way to school I counted sixty-nine 'sheriff' " - and throughout, his youthful sense of mischief never dims. In the space of a few pages, Petr muses on the prank he plays on his science class, and reveals that his cousins are being made to turn over all their furniture and belongings, having been summoned east in the next transport." "The diary ends with Petr's own summons to Thereisenstadt, where he would become the driving force behind the secret newspaper, Vedem ("We Lead"), and where he would continue to draw, paint, write, and read, furiously educating himself for a future he would never see."--BOOK JACKET.

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