Otto Wolf’s Diary Entry on His Family’s Helper, April 3, 1944

Entry from the diary of Otto Wolf from April 3, 1944, in which he describes a difficult encounter with one of the men helping his family hide during the Holocaust.

April 3, 1944, Monday, 94th week. Summer Time.

We rise at  noon. Bread soup constitutes lunch. In the afternoon, we sit. [. . .] Toward evening, we hear someone tap on the pipe. After a while, someone behind the hut calls: “Mr. Wolf!” It is Slávek. He tells Dad to come for a visit tonight at eleven, and to bring Lici along. We assume that Slávek has some financial matters to discuss. [. . .] At half past ten, I go to Slávek’s [. . .] Dad and Lici join me [there]. We all go inside. What is at first a lively discussion turns into a screaming match. Slávek wants power of attorney so he can get our gold and hold it as security. He say that he ran out of money, that Orel doesn’t want to give him bread except once a week for sixty crowns. Slávek uses some pretty foul language. He gets up from his bed and slaps Lici across the face. Dad gets up and says that he is going to the police station. Slávek takes off after him, calling back to Tandl and Vladya to keep Lici and me in the room. Papa reaches the fence gate before Slávek catches up to him. I break loose, pull Slávek off my Dad, and open the gate. It takes everything we have to keep Dad from going to the police. Malcha and the old woman, who are in the kitchen, keep telling us to stop shouting and go home. Tandl is falling down drunk. Slávek has had a few as well. Only Vladya is sober. Slávek wants Dad to certify that he, Slávek , will be fully reimbursed after the war. He doesn’t seem to know what he wants. [. . .] We finally manage to calm Dad down and we slowly walk home. [. . .] Slávek said that as long as Dad doesn’t hand over some money we are not getting anything to eat. There is a lot that could be said on that theme. We go inside the hut at 3 A.M. I make mocca. We go to bed at half past four, wondering what to do next. Even Gandi is talking differently than he did before.1


[1] Alexandra Zapruder, ed., Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust, 2nd edition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015) 143.
Soviet Union

Search Our Global Collection

Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.