Rutka (Ruth) Laskier: Teenage Writer

Ruth was a young teenage girl caught up in the horrors of World War II. But through it all Ruth was positive and full of optimism.

Rutka "Ruth" Laskier

Rutka “Ruth” Laskier

 In 1929 Rutka “Ruth” Laskier was born in the Free City of Danzig, an independent city-state (now part of Poland). Ruth’s family were well off as her father, Jakub, was a banker and her grandfather was a co-owner of a milling company. But in the 1930’s the family moved to Będzin in Poland. In 1937 Jakub and Dorva (Ruth’s mother) gave birth to a little boy named Henius. In 1939 Hitler started moving his armies across eastern Europe heading towards Poland. During the war the Laskier’s were forced to move into a ghetto since they were Jewish.

 On the 19th January 1943 Ruth started chronicling for a Jewish teenager life under the Nazi rule in a diary. Ruth wrote in this diary without her parents knowledge and wrote in an ordinary school notebook. Ruth wrote occasional entries in a mix of pencil and ink. Ruth wrote about the horror stories of concentration camps that were spreading through the camp, she also wrote about the thing she witnessed the Nazi’s done. But it was not gloomy as Ruth also wrote about teenage crushes she had. Ruth’s diary begins with “I cannot grasp that it is already 1943, four years since this hell began.” While one of her last entries says: “If only I could say, it’s over, you die only once… But I can’t, because despite all these atrocities, I want to live, and wait for the following day.” Ruth’s diary ends on the 24 April 1943.

Rutka, Jakob, Dorva and Henius.

 It was believed that Ruth died the August of 1943 when she was sent to the gas chambers with Dorva and Henius. However in 2008 a fellow prisoner in Auschwitz, Zofia Minc revealed otherwise. Zofia said that Ruth caught cholera and Zofia was ordered to take Ruth to the crematorium. Ruth was still alive at the time and begged Zofia to take her over to the electric fence so she could commit suicide but the SS guard refused. Jakub was the only member of the Laskier family to survive.

When writing her diary Ruth believed she would not survive the war. She decided hid the diary and after the ghetto was evacuated a friend, Stanisława Sapińska, retrived the diary from were her and Ruth agreed to hide it. Ruth knew her diary was important as it documeted the horrors of life a Jew under Nazi rule. Stanisława kept it hidden at home until her nephew passed on a photocopy and it was published in 2006.

Rutka and Henius


 

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