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Helga Weiss biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Helga Weiss

Helga Weiss

How to pronounce Helga Weiss: wyss (rhymes with ice)

Helga Weiss Biography

Helga Weiss (Helga Hošková-Weissová) was born in Prague in 1929. After surviving the Holocaust and the Second World War, Helga returned to Prague, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, and became an artist. She has two children, three grandchildren, and lives to this day in the apartment where she was born.

Francine Prose is the author of sixteen books of fiction, including Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Among her most recent works of nonfiction is the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife. A former president of PEN American Center, she lives in New York City.



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Interview

Holocaust survivor Helga Weiss, who wrote Helga's Diary, talks about her time in a concentration camp and the fate of her family.

Neil Bermel spoke with Helga Weiss in her apartment in Prague on December 1, 2011. The following is an edited version of their conversation, translated from the Czech. Additions and clarifications made by the translator and editor are in brackets.

Could you tell us something about your parents: what their names were, what they did, what they were like before the war? From the diary we learn only that they were Mom and Dad...
My father's name was Otto Weiss; he was very educated, loved music, wrote poetry as well. He worked as a bank clerk. In the First World War, when he was eighteen, he was badly wounded in his right arm. My mother, Irena, born Fuchsová, trained as a dressmaker; she stayed home and ran the household. We weren't rich, but my parents created a home that was full of love. I had a happy childhood.

What was the fate of your friends, acquaintances, relatives?
In general things ended badly. Sadly, my father probably went to the gas chambers. But we never found out for sure. There's even a book, The Terezín Memory Book, where people's details are recorded in brief. There's always the date they were sent to Terezín, the date they were sent onward and, if it's known, the ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Helga Weiss at BookBrowse
Helga's Diary jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Helga Weiss but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Francoise Frenkel

    Francoise Frenkel

    Françoise Frenkel was born in Poland in 1889. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, she opened the first French-language bookshop in Berlin with her husband. In the summer of 1939, with war looming, Frenkel fled to Paris. She ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Helga's Diary

    Try:
    A Bookshop in Berlin
    by Francoise Frenkel

  • Irmgard Hunt

    Irmgard Hunt

    Irmgard A. Hunt has been an executive at a number of environmental organizations, including the Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Partnership for Central Europe, a project of the German Marshall Fund. After years as a... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Helga's Diary

    Try:
    On Hitler's Mountain
    by Irmgard Hunt

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