Chava’s Diary – Condensed

Posted: December 22, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been reading the November issue of The Smithsonian which is filled with stories of the Holocaust. So, dear friends, this is what I came up with for Pegman’s trip to Krakow.

March 28, 1939
To provide a friend who will keep my secrets I started a diary.
Present: Mother left for France. Father joined the army.
A memory: Ten-year-old Lev playing violin.

January 10, 1940
We’ve moved into a school with boys! Sixteen-year-old girls shouldn’t be subjected to such horrors!

March 6, 1942
Horrid night. Clanking wheels. Jangling keys.
Nazis, moving people to unknown places.
Lev kissed me last week! We shared sweet caresses while spring flowers scented the air.
We shall marry when this horror is over.

June 16, 1942
The pogrom has begun. Mother! Where are you?

July 17, 1942
Except for barbed wire and guards, the ghetto is quite ordinary, filled with beloved neighbors.
But not Lev. My love, my protection disappeared on last night’s transport.
Writing squelches the pain.

August 17,1942
At dawn, soldiers marched five families toward a shallow trench.
One shot, two, twenty, on and on …
The sound of boots and laughter. Oh, God, they’re coming back.


  1. this is so haunting yet so necessary, Lish. Thank you. Writing squelches the pain holds such truth amidst such despair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Violet Lentz says:

    Very painstakingly written. Nearly emotionless as I imagine it would have had to have been to be able to survivor such horrors. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heartbreaking piece, Lish. Poland has always been at the crossroads, with every invading army sacking it from time immemorial. Most people don’t even know about its many wars (for example, the one with Russia during and after WWI and the one with the Soviet Union just after WWII). Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Josh. My husband and I take classes through the Academy of Life Long Learning here in Bellingham. Two of our favorites were on WWI and WW II. Oh, the things that happened to both soldiers and civilians (our instructor avoided the politics and focused on these two points.) I suppose we haven’t learned much. Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas. Lish


  4. k rawson says:

    Powerful, tragic, haunting. So much packed in each judicious line. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

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