The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Łódź Ghetto

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January 24 – May 17, 2020

“Oh, to write!… To be able to write, to make pen move on paper! I need to write.” -Rywka Lipszyc, Litzmannstadt Ghetto

On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp, Jewish Museum is honored to exhibit The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Łódź Ghetto, on loan from the Galicia Museum in Kraków, Poland.

The Investigation

In 1945 a Soviet doctor found a school notebook in the liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp. It was a diary written by the teenager Rywka Lipszyc in the Łódź Ghetto between October 1943 and April 1944 — the testament of a Jewish girl who lost her siblings and parents, but never lost hope despite moments of doubt. More than 60 years after its discovery, the diary traveled to the United States to the Holocaust Center of Northern California where Dr. Anita Friedman began the task of trying to locate answers about the notebook and its writer. An international research team was established – all them looking for answers and for Rywka Lipszyc.

The Contextualization

Rywka’s diary, a moving memoir of life and adolescence in the Łódź Ghetto, is the starting point for this exhibition. Selected passages are supplemented by expert commentary from historians, doctors, psychologists and rabbis. These commentaries help us to understand the context of the times and events Rywka refers to in her diary. The historical and intimate artifacts displayed in the exhibit, including beads, thimbles, and toys, serve as witness to the personal dimensions of the Holocaust.

About the Exhibit

The story presented in the exhibit is mainly that of women – the women who fought for survival in the Łódź Ghetto, in concentration camps. It is filled with their pain and longing, their fear, their daily battles, their courage. And at its heart, it is the story of a journey in search of Rywka and her fate – a story still being written.

Holocaust Diaries: An Intimate View into History
Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

LOMED Book Club- The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak
Thursday, February 20, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Ghetto Chronicles I- Who Will Write Our History Film Screening and Talk-Back with Dr. Amy Shapiro
Rubenstein Pavilion at Ovation Communities
Tuesday, February 25, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

The Book of You: Memoir Workshop
Sunday, March 8, 12:00 – 3:00 PM

Ghetto Chronicles II- Life and Death in the Łódź Ghetto with Historian and Author Sam Kassow
Thursday, March 26, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

How to Talk to Your Kids About the Holocaust
Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 – 8:30 PM | FREE

Ghetto Chronicles III- Ghetto: Invention of Place and History of an Idea with Sociologist Mitchell Duneier
Wednesday, April 29, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Polish Jewish Rebirth and the Rise of Nationalism
Tuesday, May 5, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Fashion Metropolis Berlin with Journalist Uwe Westphal
Sunday, May 17, 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Koret Foundation
Anonymous Individual
Bader Philanthropies
Harri Hoffmann Foundation

Media Sponsors:
Shepherd Express
Wisconsin Public Radio

Created by the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków, Poland.

ABOUT JEWISH MUSEUM MILWAUKEE: The Jewish Museum Milwaukee is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of the Jewish people in southeastern Wisconsin and celebrating the continuum of Jewish heritage and culture. The history of American Jews is rooted in thousands of years of searching for freedom and equality. We are committed to sharing this story and the life lessons it brings with it, so that we may enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Jewish life and culture. We are committed to building bridges between diverse groups through shared history and to exploring contemporary issues through the lens of Jewish history, culture and values.

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