New edition of The Diary of Mary Berg, published Spring 2007, edited by Susan Pentlin*
On her fifteenth birthday, with the German army pouring into Warsaw,
Mary Berg began her personal diary. From the siege of Warsaw to the final,
brutal suppression of the Ghetto Uprising, she records in vivid detail
the plight of the refugees, the life of the “Golden Youth,”
the forced conscription, the deportations, and the heroism and resistance
at the forefront of the fight against German oppression. Rescued with
her family through an Allied prisoner exchange, carefully hidden among
her possessions were twelve small notebooks of her diary. Less than a
year later, its wartime publication in America played a key role in making
the truth known.
Now published for the first time for a worldwide audience, this is a
work remarkable for its authenticity, detail, and poignancy. But it is
not only as a factual report on the life and death of a people that this
diary ranks with the most important documents of the Second World War.
Its message is timeless, calling for an end to genocide and hate. This
is the personal story of a life-loving young girl’s encounter with
unparalleled human suffering, and a uniquely illuminating insight into
one of the darkest chapters of history.
With an introduction and helpful endnotes, this is a beautiful edition
of a unique book. S.L. Shneiderman, the original editor, was an award-winning
journalist, author, editor, and essayist. The book is published by One
World Publications in Oxford, U. K. and appeared in the U. K. last fall.
The publication date for the United States is April 25, 2007. The book
is available through amazon.com.uk and amazon.com.
Professor Susan Pentlin is Emeritus Professor of Modern Languages at
the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri and the leading
expert on this work. She has her PhD from the University of Kansas. She
serves on the Board of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education in Overland
Park, Kansas and on the Program Committee of the Scholars’ Conference
on the Holocaust. She is a Commissioner on the Missouri Commission on
Human Rights and on the Board of the Missouri Folklore Society. She is
a Fulbright Recipient and received a grant from the American Council of
She has done research on Berg’s diary for the past twenty years,
including research at the National Archives, She has worked with the Shneiderman
family and the heirs of the original translators to bring the diary back
into print. She has published articles about the diary in several encyclopedias
and in “Holocaust Victims of Privilege,” in Problems Unique
to the Holocaust,” Harry James Cargas, ed. Lexington: University
of Kentucky, 1999. Currently efforts are continuing to bring the Berg’s
Diary to publication in Israel. She is presently researching the Jewish
detainees from Warsaw at the Vittel Internment Camp in France, 1941-1944
and writing the memoir of Brucha Kibel, an Auschwitz survivor from Turek,
Poland who lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
*Susan Pentlin is a Remember the Women Institute Advisory Board member
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