Diary of Teen Who Survived Auschwitz to Be Published

Helga Weiss narrowly escaped death at the hands of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2011 11:00 AM CDT
This file picture of 1956 shows the WWII war criminal Josef Mengele.   (AP Photo, file)
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(Newser) – Anne Frank was not the only teen to record her harrowing Holocaust account in a diary—or to have the chronicle of her ordeal published. Helga Weiss, now an artist in her 80s, kept her journal as a young girl, beginning in 1939. Her family's Prague apartment was taken by the Germans, and her family was transported to the Nazi-controlled ghetto of Terezín. There, reports the Guardian, she wrote how "thunderous steps, the roar of the ghetto guards, the banging of doors, and hysterical weeping always sound—and foretell—the same."

At one point in her terrible journey, which took her to Auschwitz, Weiss barely escapes the clutches of Nazi human experimenter Josef Mengele, who was separating women fit for the labor camp from the young children and older women, who were sent to the gas chamber. She lied about her age, convincing him she was older. She then endured a "death march" to a labor camp at Flossenbürg, and was one of the less than 10% of children from Terezín believed to have survived. "What is so important about the diary is that it is Helga's reality," says the publisher. "You are there with her. It is a very different thing from a memoir." Her journals will be released next year in the UK by the publisher of Frank's diary.

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