, ,

I’m counting down the minutes before I tune into this event at the Smithsonian Institute today:

80 Years after Kristallnacht: Diarists of the Holocaust

This is Renia, who was murdered on the streets of occupied Przemyśl at the age of 18 in 1942. She left behind a diary that through some miracle found its way to her family in New York.


Renia in Skole in the 1930s (Courtesy of the Bellak family)

I grew up calling Renia’s sister “Aunt Elizabeth,” but she never mentioned her sister until a few years ago. Encouraged by her daughter Alexandra, they started looking for someone to translate the diary from Polish to English, and Elizabeth started talking about her hidden past. It’s an extraordinary story about two extraordinary sisters. Both Elizabeth and Alexandra will share their stories at 1 PM eastern time today, November 8, 2018.