Date(s) - Thursday, February 20th
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Jewish Museum Milwaukee
LOMED Book Club- The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak: Five Notebooks from the Łódź Ghetto
“In the evening I had to prepare food and cook supper, which exhausted me totally. In politics there’s absolutely nothing new. Again, out of impatience I feel myself beginning to fall into melancholy. There is really no way out of this for us.”
This is Dawid Sierakowiak’s final diary entry. Soon after writing it, the young author died of tuberculosis, exhaustion, and starvation–the Holocaust syndrome known as “ghetto disease.” After the liberation of the Łódź Ghetto, his notebooks were found stacked on a cookstove, ready to be burned for heat.
His diary comprises a remarkable legacy left to humanity by its teenage author. It is one of the most fastidiously detailed accounts ever rendered of modern life in human bondage. Studying in southern Poland during the summer of 1939, Dawid begins his diary with a heady enthusiasm to experience life, learn languages, and read great literature.
He returns home under the quickly gathering clouds of war. Abruptly, Łódź is occupied by the Nazis, and the Sierakowiak family is among the city’s 200,000 Jews who are soon forced into a sealed ghetto, completely cut off from the outside world.
Join us for a LOMED Book Club to discuss The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak: Five Notebooks from the Łódź Ghetto, the diary of a young man describing the relentless horror of the Łódź Ghetto while repeatedly rallying himself and his family against fear and pessimism.
CJL Educators FREE | Museum Members FREE | Nonmembers $5
Doors Open at 6:00 pm
A LOMED (Learning Opportunity for Milwaukee Educators) program offered by the Coalition for Jewish Learning and co-sponsored by Jewish Museum Milwaukee and Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center. In connection with The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Łódź Ghetto, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, January 24 – May 17, 2020.
About Dawid Sierakowiak
When the Nazis captured Łódź, the great textile center of Poland, they squeezed the Jewish population of 200,000 into a sealed neighborhood and began systematically to work and starve them to death. Sierakowiak began his journals when he was 15, just before the war, and continued with almost daily entries until it abruptly breaks off in 1943.
Edited by Adelson, producer of the documentary film, Łódź Ghetto, the diary meticulously records Sierakowiak’s own deterioration as well as that of the ghetto. Sierakowiak chronicles the growing hunger and desperation of those residents not connected to Chaim Rumkowski, the ghetto’s corrupt and dictatorial leader, and the loss of both parents–his mother to the Nazis and his father to tuberculosis, the disease that would claim Sierakowiak at the end.
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Authors: Dawid Sierakowiak, Alan Adelson, Alan Edelsonwiak
Editor Oxford University Press, USA