Page from Renia Knoll’s Diary

I don’t know why my Parents don’t want me to be cheerful, to laugh and play.

Wide dzienniki 2

16th March, 1941

I don’t know why my Parents don’t want me to be cheerful, to laugh and play. I understand that there is war, I understand it is bad but at our place I sit all day long reading a book and it is really all day long and when today I once started playing table tennis, immediately cries and lamentations began! Why do I always have to be dependable on the mood of the whole household. Fredzia is dead. Mother and brother, father is far away in Paris and at their place there is laughter and fun etc. [...] all weeks long I stay at home, at night I roll from one side of the bed to the other not able to fall asleep. And when I start playing shop, Mommy immediately comes asking why I am wasting my time, why I am not doing the washing, not darning, only playing “forever”?

Renia Knoll, age 14, Cracow

Knoll, “The Diary”, Warsaw 2012; diary from JHI’s collections

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