A Warsaw Diary


“My foosteps were clear in the snow, and they were the only ones.” These are the words of a man who spent six years of his life in a menacing atmosphere of deception, constant play-acting, suspense and murder, and lived.

Here is the authentic story of one of the few survivors of the Warsaw ghetto and of an “underground” existence in the non-jewish part of the city during the second world war.

It reads like a thriller in that his last-minute escapes and desperate games of bluff (he posed as a Catholic and a Polish officer, an extremely hazardous disguise for a religious jew) transport the reader to a period of history when horror was a commonplace and the absurd was reality.

And yet this is not another “horror story”, not another tale of the holocaust in the accepted sense. Apart from valuable historical detail never before revealed (as in the chapters on the educationalist and martyr, Janusz Korczak) there is humour, irony, ingenuity and an uncompromising urge for survival.

The book is based entirely on Michael Zylberberg’s original, recovered (miraculously) about twenty years after the war. It tells of the ghetto uprising and the Polish Uprising of General BorKoruorowski; of the moral conflicts of the Poles who helped the jews and those who betrayed them.