The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Łódz Ghetto
In I945, a diary was found in the ashes of a destroyed crematorium in the liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp. It was written by a 14-year-old Jewish girl named Rywka Lipszyc and documented her life in the Łódz Ghetto between October 1943 and April 1944.
Rywka’s diary told stories of a young girl who lost her siblings and parents, but never lost hope or her faith. More than 60 years after its discovery, the diary traveled to the United States, where it was translated to English, supplemented with commentaries, and published.
Rywka Lipszyc’s diary, a moving memoir of life and adolescence in the Łódz Ghetto, is the focal point of this exhibition. Selected excerpts of the diary are supplemented by expert commentary from historians, doctors, psychologists, and rabbis. Blended with original artifacts and fleeting candid photographs of others’ lives in the ghetto, these commentaries help us understand the experiences Rywka describes in her diary.
Through historical artifacts and documents, interactive touch screens, documentary videos, and exceptionally rare photographs, The Girl in the Diary explores the story of a young girl’s fight for survival in the Łódz Ghetto and reconstructs what might have happened to Rywka after her deportation to Auschwitz and beyond.
There are no known photographs of Rywka. We do not know the color of her hair or eyes, the way she smiled or laughed. She exists for us only through the words in her diary. The Girl in the Diary is a tribute to the life of a child who will not be forgotten.
An exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in cooperation with the Galicia Jewish Museum, Kraków, Poland.
Illinois Holocaust Museum’s presentation of The Girl in the Diary is made possible with generous support from:
Golder Family Foundation
Mark and Lisa Pinsky