Maryla’s Diary

We are raptly listening to sounds of fighting growing louder and fear is paralyzing all of us; we stop being humans and turn into balls of nerves, almost going mad.

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We are raptly listening to sounds of fighting growing louder and fear is paralyzing all of us; we stop being humans and turn into balls of nerves, almost going mad. We remain silent and the softest rustle [...], whisper coming from the inside, a cough, to us they all seem a hurricane which can bring the enemy to us anytime.

Suddenly, the silence is broken by a crying baby. Beads of sweat cover my whole body, swearwords are coming from everywhere cursing this poor, unaware creature. Someone says: we have to strangle it, or it will give us all away. [...]

Some strange sound of a wall being pulled down is getting nearer, the commander of the shelter is going crazy saying somebody has moved the wagon that he has heard steps on the hatch, that we are lost. [...] I am alternately experiencing hot and cold sweats. I feel that it is getting harder and harder to breath; I feel that tension has reached my limits so I’m reaching for my luminal. I take a few capsules when somebody knocks it out of my hand; I am angry, I shower wild curses on them, for God’s sake, it is better to lose life than go crazy.

Maryla (surname unknown), 27th April, 1943, Warsaw

„I was looking at the lips...Diary from the Warsaw Ghetto”, ed. P. Weiser, Kraków 2008ac. P. Weiser, Kraków 2008

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