Eva Ginzová's Diary Entry on Her Jewish Identity, September 16, 1944

An entry from the diary of Eva Ginzová from September 16, 1944, in which she reflects upon her Jewish identity while imprisoned in the Theresienstadt ghetto.

September 16 [1944]

I haven’t written for a long time — I couldn’t get to it. Petr was ill—he had a temperature of thirty-nine degrees [Celsius]. There’s a sort of epidemic now in Terezín. Temperature, nothing hurts, and then it’s gone again. I was extremely concerned about him going down with something — it’s just the two of us here, Petr and me, and if something were to happen to him, how would I explain it to my parents?  This isn’t the case with the Miloš family. Hanka and Pavel at least have their dad here — but I wouldn’t like to have mine here. I dreamed not long ago that Daddy had come to Terezín and I woke up covered in sweat. Anything but that.

            There’s a prayer room in front of Uncle’s attic room. The Jews always go to pray there on Friday evening, Saturday, or when there’s some holiday. Uncle always jeers, sneers at them and insults them for disturbing him, and all three children always join in with him. And Petr does it too. I regret it thoroughly — I feel more of a Jew than almost ever before. Petr declared that he’ll renounce the faith as soon as he gets home. I couldn’t do that! I wonder what Daddy will tell him when Petr gets home. Pavel says that he’s related to Jesus and doesn’t want anything to do with the Jewish faith even if Jesus was a Jew, too.1


  • 1 : Alexandra Zapruder, ed., Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust, 2nd edition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015) 178.


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