Book launch set for teens long-lost Holocaust diary

A book launch for “The Diary of Rywka Lipszyc” — a teenage girl’s diary that was found in Auschwitz in 1945 and was then hidden in obscurity for more than 60 years — has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 10 in San Francisco.

The 170-page book is being published by the S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ Holocaust Center in partnership with Berkeley-based Lehrhaus Judaica. It includes 73 pages of Rywka’s diary entries from October 1943 through April 1944, translated from Polish, plus a chapter by historian Fred Rosenbaum and other background material.

Edited by National Jewish Book Award recipient Alexandra Zapruder, the book “is destined to become an important source of inspiration for students of the Holocaust around the world,” according to the JFCS website. Rywka (pronounced Rif-ka), who lived in the Lodz Ghetto, is known to have survived the war, although researchers have been unable to ascertain what happened to her.

The diary found its way to San Francisco via the granddaughter of the person who found it in the ruins of Auschwitz-Birkenau: a doctor with the liberating Soviet army. It remained among the doctor’s possessions until her death, and the granddaughter then brought it to the Bay Area when she emigrated from Russia.

Some of Rywka’s surviving cousins, who also lived in the Lodz Ghetto, will be at the book launch at JFCS, 2150 Post St., San Francisco. There is no admission fee, but anyone who wants to attend must RSVP at For more information, visit