Entries based on the life of Manya Moszkowicz(Friedman)
By: Madison Trent
Monday, January 30, 1933
Today was a pale day. The weather outside was very cold and lonely, but it was also apparent on the faces of every person walking by papa’s furniture store after school. We received news that Adolf Hitler was appointed German chancellor this afternoon. School seemed different then. Even the teachers didn’t feel like doing any work. The principle let us out of our Hebrew class early, so we could go home to be with our families. Papa says that things might change with Hitler in power. He says that all the ideas in Hitler’s book can become actions now. I sensed fear in his voice, but I’ve never known papa to be afraid before now. Mama sent me to bed early. She said it was because she wants me to have a good night’s rest for tomorrow’s test in Hebrew class, but I can hear papa and mama talking downstairs. I think they just wanted to talk in private. I wonder what Hitler is going to do. Could he really hurt our family that badly? Questions I don’t have answers to yet, but I should go to bed.
יומן לילה טוב(Goodnight Diary).
Thursday, November 10, 1938
Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass.” I wasn’t able to sleep at all last night knowing that my fellow Jewish friends were being forced out, while Nazi soldiers destroyed their homes. It’s only been a few months since we moved to Sosnowiec, which is even closer to the German border. People here are so hateful towards my family and me and I don’t understand why. Mother says that I’m experiencing my first bit of anti semitism. You can’t walk anywhere without seeing signs urging Polish citizens to boycott Jewish businesses or a family's belongings out on the street. My friend’s twelfth birthday is coming up and she’s about to become a Bat Mitzvah. She wants to celebrate, but we all know that it’s too great a risk to be caught together and after curfew. I feel lost in a big world where everything is going wrong. Father says we must be thankful anyway, but I’m struggling to find something to be thankful for.
I’ve lost track of what day it is, but I don’t really care to know. It’s been three years since I’ve seen my family. The grief of maybe never seeing them again is weighing heavy on me. I’m almost 18 years old, but I can’t help feeling homesick and lonely. I was recently transported from Gogolin transit camp to where I am now at Gleiwitz forced labor camp with a group of about 100 women. As soon as we got here they tatooed our arm with a number, mine is 79357. The general in charge told us that this was to be our new name. We were also assigned a work task that we would have to complete everyday while here. I was given the job of building fighter pilot radios for the German army. It’s not work that I enjoy doing, but it helps me keep my mind off of my family.
Saturday, January 27, 1945
I have recently arrived at my end. Ten days ago we were transported to Ravensbruck concentration camp. I’ve heard so many stories about Ravensbruck and their extermination techniques. I fear for my life and I don’t expect to stay here long. On the journey here I shielded my sick friend from being crushed in the overcrowded freight cars that we were brought in, with no food and only melted snow for water. My arms are very bruised and swollen. It is very hard to write all this and I apologize for the messy handwriting, but I felt I must write my last thoughts and words if my life does come to an end. I have just reread some of my earlier entries in this diary and reading them makes me want to cry. In my first entry, I asked if Hitler could really hurt our family that badly. I finally know the answer to that question. YES. He has done everything in his power to tear my family apart and for that I can never forgive him. To those who read this diary when I’m gone, you must know that I have seen and been through many things and my life will never feel normal again. I love my family and dearest friends very much and I hope that you survived this terrible struggle. My only hope is that you will go and tell people about what all Jewish and unwanted men and women endured. Never let them think that we gave up hope, for we did not, we simply just lost the battle. Tell them that we went through hurtful experiences so that the life they will live might be different. I pray every night for the safety of my family, friends, and me as well. My deepest wish is that my prayers will come true.
I am rescued from the evil hand that held millions like me for so long. Once I was taken to Rechlin camp I was saved by the Swedish Red Cross who were like angels coming in and surrounding me. I survived Hitler’s attempt to exterminate the Jewish generation. I still however weep for those who were not able to hold on and keep going. I praise those same people for sacrificing their lives so that I can be saved. My story has not come to end, but a very long chapter has just been closed. Now it’s time to write the next one, titled “My Life as a Survivor.” by Manya Moszkowicz.