Dear Canada: A step back in time


Pieces of the Past

Pieces of the Past
The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz

By Carol Matas

ISBN: 978-1-4431-1307-6 POB
ISBN: 978-1-4431-2456-0 EBK
168 pages | Ages 9-12 | 5¼" x 7 3/8"

A young Jewish girl recounts her experiences during a horrifying time in recent history.

As Rose begins her diary, she is in her third home since coming to Winnipeg. Traumatized by her experiences in the Holocaust, she struggles to connect with others, and above all, to trust again.

When her new guardian, Saul, tries to get Rose to deal with what happened to her during the war, she begins writing in her diary about how she survived the murder of the Jews in Poland by going into hiding.

Memories of herself and her mother being taken in by those willing to risk sheltering Jews, moving from place to place, being constantly on the run to escape capture, begin to flood her diary pages. Recalling those harrowing days, including when they stumbled on a resistance cell deep in the forest and lived underground in filthy conditions, begins to take its toll on Rose.

As she delves deeper into her past, she is haunted by the most terrifying memory of all. Will she find the courage to bear witness to her mother's ultimate sacrifice?

Read an excerpt

From Rose's diary:

Janurary 18, 1948

Now that I've started to write, it all seems to come in a rush when I sit down. Even today at school I wished I was at the house and I could write. I feel as if I need to do it, like there's a special reason, but I can't imagine what it is.

I Remember
January 14, 1941

Mama has washed my face and hands three times now and taken my one clean dress out of the small cupboard in the bedroom. Sophie and Abe are also dressed in their best clothes. We are going to a street where all the fancy people live, says Abe. We are going out to eat in a restaurant! It happens to be the day before my birthday and Mama says it is the only reason she has agreed, that at least I'll get a decent meal for my sixth birthday. We walk into the restau- rant and it's like being in a different world. Families are dressed like our family used to before we moved here, and the smell of cooked soup and meat fills the air. Meat. We have been living on beans and potatoes and carrots for so long . . . I don't mind. I am never very hungry. But my mouth waters — I can smell fresh-baked bread too.

From Dear Canada: Pieces of the Past. Copyright © 2013 by Carol Matas. All rights reserved.