In 2011, Neil Bermel, translator of Helga's Diary: A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp, asked Helga Weiss, "What would you say is the contribution of your diary? Why should we read another account of the Holocaust?"
Helga answered, "Mostly because it is truthful."
That is at the heart of this significant and moving contribution to the literature of the Holocaust. Helga was 12 years old in 1941 when she was transported to Terezin and 15 ½ when she was liberated from Mauthausen, so the diary reflects the feelings, insights, and experiences of a young girl approaching womanhood, which is complicated and confusing in an ordinary setting, but which is unimaginably difficult in a concentration camp. Helga herself says, " maybe because it's narrated in that half-childish way, it's accessible and expressive..." Helga's "childish" style gives a particular ...
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