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My Terezín Diary - Zuzana Justman for The New Yorker

Zuzana Justman talks about her Terezín experience and about the diary she kept there as a child for The New Yorker.

"Because I was fearful that the diary could fall into German hands and bring harm to my family, I rarely expressed myself freely in it. I did not mention my mother’s arrest. I wrote, with naïve caution, “Until the age of eight I led a normal life . . . but then a foreign nation entered my country,” which I must have imagined would be less offensive to a potential Nazi reader than saying straight out that Germany had invaded Czechoslovakia. In an attempt to provide better living conditions for Terezín’s children, the Jewish administration had opened so-called Kinderheime for girls and boys. About half the camp’s children lived in these homes. When I described the classes that I attended in a Terezín girls’ Kinderheim, I carefully added, “We mostly play and read,” which was not true: we studied various subjects, such as English and Judaism. I had inserted this sentence because teaching was forbidden in the ghetto."

The full article can be read here.

It will be published in the print version of The New Yorker on September 16.

Zuzana Justman photographed by Jiří Doležel