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The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing Up in the Warsaw Ghetto

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-02-11 10:51 PM
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The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing Up in the Warsaw Ghetto
Originally published in New York, February 1945
One World: Oxford, 2007

A valid passport was a potential way to escape the death camps, and Mary Berg's mother was an American. Thus, although the family was confined to the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, they were protected somewhat by American citizenship. The diarist, 15 at the beginning of the text, cannot ignore realities: people die daily from brutality, disease, starvation. In 1942 Berg and family were relocated with other foreigners to Pawiak prison, in view of Korczak's orphanage. From there, over an extended period, they witness further murder of ghetto inhabitants and the eventual emptying of the orphanage. Everyone there knows what happens in the death camps from a few escapees. In 1943, they are relocated to an internment camp in France; there they eventually hear detailed reports of the ghetto uprising. In Spring 1944, they are sent to America, so escape the shoah

This is a very rough read: Berg is a teenage girl, trying to lead the life of a teenage girl, with the so-called Final Solution constricting her world more and more, and she is aware of it. For several years after the war, she was a public personality, discussing the events she witnessed, and then "she dissociated herself from the diary, saying she wanted to forget the past, and she disappeared from the public eye"
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