Foto do autor

Věra Kohnová (1929–1942)

Autor(a) de Diary of Věra Kohnová

1 Work 2 Membros 1 Review

Obras de Věra Kohnová

Diary of Věra Kohnová (2006) 2 cópias, 1 resenha


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
País (para mapa)
Czech Republic
Local de nascimento
Plzeň, Czechoslovakia
Local de falecimento
Locais de residência
Theresienstadt concentration camp
Pequena biografia
Věra Kohnová was born to a Jewish family in Plzeň (Pilsen), Czechoslovakia. Her parents were Otakar Kohn, a secretary for the Gustav Teller company, and his wife Melanie Langerová. She had an older sister, Hanka. Nazi Germany invaded her city when Věra was 10 years old. In 1941, at the age of 12, she began keeping a daily diary. She wrote in it for five months, during which time the situation of her family and other Jews in Plzeň gradually worsened. The last entry in her diary was, "We are here just tomorrow and after tomorrow, who knows what will be then. Bye-bye, my diary!".

On January 22, 1942, the family and most of the Jewish inhabitants of Plzeň were put on a transport to the Nazi camp at Terezín (Theresienstadt). In March 1942, Věra and her family were sent from Terezín east to Izbica, Poland, a transfer station to extermination camps. They did not survive the Holocaust. Věra's diary was hidden by family friend Marie Kalivodová for many years; in 1968, she gave it to Miroslav Matouš, a Czech priest. He worked with the Jewish Museum in Prague to get the diary published in book form. In 2006, it was published in Czech, English and German (English title, The Diary of Vera Kohnova).



It took me some trouble to get my hands on a copy of this book and I'm not sure it was worth it. It's basically the diary of a deeply ordinary little girl who happened to be Jewish and living in Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Final Solution.

By the time twelve-year-old Vera Kohnova began her diary, there were already some restrictions on Jews in her area, but she never mentions the Nazis and, except for the mention of Jews having to wear badges, and the fact that she can't attend regular school, her life seems to have been just as normal and boring as any Czech pre-adolescent's during that period. She writes a lot about her (clandestine) schoolwork and her relationships with her girlfriends and her crushes on boys.

The diary is short, covering less than five months, and ends in January 1942 when the deportations start and Vera's family is sent off to Theresienstadt. She dreaded the move, writing, "I have never wept in my life as much as yesterday," and she wasn't the only one: her mother was "terribly sad and she sees everything in black colors." And Vera and her parents and sister didn't know that their stay in Theresienstadt would be brief, that in another two months they'd be sent to their deaths in Poland.

The book isn't as long as it's appears. It's 200 pages, yes, but each facing page is taken up by a facsimile of a page from Vera's diary, and the typed text is written first in Vera's native Czech, then translated into English, then into German, so you essentially get three copies of the same one or two paragraphs on each page. So it's really perhaps one-quarter of its length in pages.

The main value in the diary relies in seeing just was lost during the Holocaust, the would-have-been happy, productive lives of children like Vera, whose names in history are written in blood and ashes.

Inevitably, this diary will draw comparison's with Anne Frank's. I will also mention its likeness to The Diary of Petr Ginz , who was another Czech Jewish child in the same age group who wrote his diary shortly before deportation to Theresienstadt. And I was reminded of In Her Father's Eyes: A Childhood Extinguished by the Holocaust , about the early life of a Slovak Jewish girl who died in Sobibor when she was Vera's age.
… (mais)
meggyweg | Mar 8, 2014 |