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Renia's Diary: A Holocaust Journal

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  30 reviews

The long-hidden diary of a young Polish woman's last days during the Holocaust, translated for the first time into English, with a foreword from American Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt.

Renia Spiegel was a young girl from an upper-middle class Jewish family living on an estate in Stawki, Poland, near what was at that time the border with Romania. In the summer of 19

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Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: September 24th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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  • Renia's Diary by Renia Spiegel
    Renia's Diary: A Holocaust Journal
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    Release date: Sep 24, 2019
    The long-hidden diary of a young Polish woman's last days during the Holocaust, translated for the first time into English, with a foreword from Ameri ...more

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 2041 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jul 05 - Jul 19, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Showing 1-30
    3.87  · 
    Rating details
     ·  46 ratings  ·  30 reviews


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    Erin
    May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: kindle, netgalley
    Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

    Well, I have been sitting on my review and rating for this book all weekend. Often my fellow reviewers of Holocaust non fiction have commented how difficult it is to rate a person's life story. In reading Renia's Diary:A Holocaust Diary I do find myself struggling to articulate my feelings on this diary.

    Renia Spiegel's story is important and relevant and her sister's determination to share her dia
    ...more
    Katie
    Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This is a difficult book to review for a lot of reasons but I want to start by getting it out of the way that ~90% of Renia Spiegel’s nearly 700 page diary is about her infatuation with Zygmunt Schwarzer (Zygus). Yes, she’s a teenage girl and this should be expected but I think that all the news articles and marketing comparing this to Anne Frank’s diary is so misleading.

    Anne’s diary is unbelievably comprehensive. She is incredibly observant of those around her, what they’re doing, complaining a
    ...more
    Cheryl
    As more and more Holocaust survivors pass away, it’s important that people read about their experiences so that they won’t be forgotten, and hopefully, something like that will never happen again.

    Renia’s Diary is a written record about a young Polish girl who, unfortunately, did not survive. She was smart, kind, and full of hope for her future. She was a budding poet, and had won awards at her school for her poetry. Her diary is similar to those of many teens - reflecting the angst about relatio
    ...more
    Emily
    May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Elizabeth
    Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    ~~An advanced copy of this book was provided by St. Martin's Press and Goodreads with no promise of a review~~

    I believe my review will reiterate the feelings of most of the people who have had the pleasure of reading this book. Renia Spiegel‘s diary takes place over four years in 1939-1942 - which makes it extremely difficult to review. This is someone's immediate recollection of their own life events. I find it to be unnecessary to try to analyze this book from a pure writing perspective.

    Reni
    ...more
    Kate Grace
    This is an incredibly difficult text to review - probably for a number of reasons, but at least two I want to articulate.

    First, it’s necessary to remind myself that this is a story, a narrative, but NOT a fiction. How can I evaluate the reality of people’s joy and despair, love and grief?

    Second, I don’t know, with certainty, the purpose of publication. Who is the audience? Scholars? A more general audience?

    If Renia’s Diary is meant to be viewed through the lens of scholarship ONLY, I would say
    ...more
    Pam
    Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: net-galley
    This is a heart wrenching journal of what life was like for Renia and countless others during the WWII Holocaust. To say that "I loved this book" seems wrong somehow.

    My thanks to Netgalley and St Martin's Press for this advanced readers copy. Release date for this one is scheduled for September 2019.
    Rachel F
    May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Renia’s Diary, a true diary written by a young Jewish teen that lived in Poland, is a true diary of her own words. The beginning and followup pages to delve into more information, is written by her sister who’s name is now Elizabeth.

    This, like all other Holocaust memoirs whether survivor or victim, is a remarkable and touching tribute to a woman taken too early.
    This document is touching, heart-wrenching, and absolutely needed to keep these wonderful souls known to our generation and for the ge
    ...more
    Rachel F
    May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Renia’s Diary, a true diary written by a young Jewish teen that lived in Poland, is a true diary of her own words. The beginning and followup pages to delve into more information, is written by her sister who’s name is now Elizabeth.

    This, like all other Holocaust memoirs whether survivor or victim, is a remarkable and touching tribute to a woman taken too early.
    This document is touching, heart-wrenching, and absolutely needed to keep these wonderful souls known to our generation and for the ge
    ...more
    Michele
    May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Sorry to say I didn’t really enjoy this book. It is more of a young adult love story of a girl’s diary. There really wasn’t anything about the the war until 3/4 of the way through and it really didn’t touch on it that much. I enjoyed the information that was written after the diary ended but that is about it. I don’t think I would recommend this book. Thank you netgalley for letting me give an honest review of this book.
    Niklas Pivic
    This book is the edited version of Renia Spiegel‘s diary that spans nearly 700 pages and nearly four years in 1939-1942.

    Sergey Yarov wrote brilliantly about morality in the siege of Leningrad during World War II. He read a lot of previously redacted diaries that belonged to people who were part of the siege. Those diaries told a clear tale of how things changed gradually, and how what was once considered extreme behaviours were normalised, from making potato-skin soup to pilfering corpses for fo
    ...more
    Michaela
    Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    ---Full disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---

    I'm not sure how to review this. It's a personal diary of a teenage girl in a horrible war she doesn't understand. There is a lot of the normal teenage stuff, like tiffs w/ friends, school, hanging out, & of course, love interests. One must know they are going to be reading that type of thing, even if it is happening amidst such unpredictable changes in the world at large. That very thing however, the teenage stuff, is p

    ...more
    Kee Hoo
    Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: borrowed, arc
    Renia's Diary: A Holocaust Journal by Renia Spiegel; With Her Sister, Elizabeth Bellak and With Writer Sarah Durand

    Renia started a diary for herself, in Poland, so she would have a nonjudgmental friend who could console her when she was down January 31, 1939.

    Renia shares her hopes and dreams, poetry and songs-some that she made up and others that spoke to her. She hangs out with her friends. She misses her sister-who is a start and is gone a lot. She misses her mama-who lives in a different part
    ...more
    Shirley
    I just finished reading "Renia's Diary. First of all I have to say the poetry was wonderful. I did enjoy it. The book was , however, long and repetitive for the most part. I was expecting a diary of the Holocaust and this was not what this book was really about.

    The book is about Renia a Jewish teenager growing up from 14 to 18. She is heartbroken that her mother lives in one city, her father in another and she is stuck living with her grandparents. Apparently at least part of the time her gran
    ...more
    Sharon S
    Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for a kindle ARC of this book.

    Renia's Diary is written by a young girl very intelligent, gifted writer, experiencing war, family hardship, young love, and sadly eventually she's taken during the war and never heard from again. Her family found her diary and published it years later. It's sad, funny, endearing and full of heart. Renia started her Diary calling it her friend, of which I found very sweet. Her diary was her best friend that she shared secrets, d
    ...more
    Heather
    Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: first-reads
    *Disclaimer: I won this book from a Goodreads first-reads giveaway

    I had a hard time getting into this book. In fact, until the epilogue and Elizabeth's commentary at the end, I would have given this less than 3 stars. It is imperative that the reader reads those final pages, for it explains what happens during the years between 1939 - 1942, in which the diary is written.

    Renia's Diary, A Holocaust Journal, is written by a girl named Renia between the ages of 14 - 18. She is abandoned by her paren
    ...more
    Crystal
    Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Janall
    Thanks you NetGalley and St Marin’s press for the free advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

    Teenagers are teenagers regarding their nationality, or time period. Renia is a typical 15 year old girl complete with the full roller coaster of emotions- hope , joy, fear, self pity, and petty jealousy of every other girl, everywhere going through adolescence. Of course her diary was meant to be private, she had no idea that anyone else would read it, and thus it is an unfiltered lens
    ...more
    Jennifer
    Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Don't go into this looking for knowledge and references about the war and the atrocities associated with it. Read this book because it gives you insight into the heart and mind of a bright and gifted young person whose life was cut too short, too soon. This book helps to humanize the victims of the Holocaust in a way that is still very much needed. They are not just a number or a group of people. They were unique individuals with hopes and dreams and hardships who deserved the chance to live the ...more
    Theediscerning
    I feel a little churlish saying how little I engaged with this book, for it's obviously a labour of love and a heartfelt production from the family members who knew the author. But this diary had too little of the War for me, far too much poetry about the angst teenaged love involves, and far too much weeping for her mother. I can see a readership similar to Renia empathising more, but at the remove in age, experience and gender that I have, I didn't gel with many of the contents here. I couldn' ...more
    Allison Pickett
    Renia's Diary is the true life journal of Renia Spiegel and her life as a Jewish teenager throughout World War 2. I
    She is 15 when the journal begins and so it is mostly about her friendships, her quarrels, and her crushes on boys. Throughout she writes very lovely poetry (poems are very dear to Renia). She discusses her fears about the war and how much she desperately misses her mother, but often sticks to the topic of boys and boyfriends. To me, her sister's notes at the end are even more fasci
    ...more
    Dad
    Jul 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I won an ARC of this book on Goodreads.com. This is a difficult review to write. I have mixed feelings regarding the diary. Renia was a Polish Jewish girl who started her diary in 1939. I thought the diary rather boring and repetitious. It was basically written by a teenage girl about the love she had for her boyfriend. Of course what happened to her was horrifying and terrible. During the last 50 pages of the book, much was explained by her sister who had the diary published. Part of this secti ...more
    Kayla Tornello
    This diary is heartbreaking because you know that the author was murdered at the age of 18. It's so sad to see how badly she wanted to live and experience life. Her voice makes it easier to picture the horrors of the war. Her diary is sprinkled with interesting little poems. However, the entries tend to get tedious and repetitive. After all, this is a teenage girl and her little spats with her friends are what is important to her, although it doesn't make for compelling reading.

    I received this
    ...more
    Lex Poot
    Not enough can be written about the atrocities of the WWII especially the killing of million of Jews. Alas this book does not really add to the Jewish Literary Canon. The diary is frankly uninteresting barely mentioning Russian and German occupation. The book becomes finally interesting after the diary has ended giving a family history on how they fled the from the war and how only a handful survived.

    I got this book through Goodreads giveaway.
    Lucy Meeker
    Was an overall good story and book. Reminded me of Anne Frank's diary. There was not that much action, but somehow I stayed pretty interested throughout the whole book. The story was well written and I could really feel the emotion Renia was feeling. I felt like I was there with Renia and I could feel and understand all the things she was feeling in a way. I really like it. Highly recommend this book to anyone.

    I received a free advanced copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
    Ashleigh Armstrong
    Too beautiful for words. Renia's diary is a emotional roller-coaster that needs more than a harness. Buckle into the tragic tale of life. Powerful, moving, mesmerizing. What a brutally brilliant read.
    Joshua
    Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: first-reads
    Renia's Diary

    Had a lot of interesting stuff in it. I didn't care for the poems and songs, but that was just a part of who Renia was.

    I'm glad her sister has had the journal printed, so Renia can give a SHOUT OUT to the world!
    Erika Kraus
    Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I won this book in the giveaway! I am very fascinated by WWII and very much enjoyed Renia's Diary.
    Kirsten
    May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    review to come ...
    Gail O'Connor
    A story must grab me immediately and this book did not. It's a shame because I was looking forward to reading it
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