Written in a Barn: The Diary of a Young Woman from Vilna

Ruth Leimenzon Engles| Edited by Ben-Tsiyon Klibansky

 

At last, I have gotten a notebook in which to write. I have a pencil. I will try. Maybe it will make it easier to push through the days. It’s hard for me. As soon as dawn breaks, my first thought is: how does one endure until the end of the day.
Ruth Leimenzon Engles, May 15, 1944

A few days after the Germans occupied Vilna at the end of June 1941, Ruth Leimenzon’s husband was seized by local collaborators and was never seen again. Ruth, the sole survivor of her murdered family, managed to survive two years in the ghetto using her intelligence and common sense, helped by luck and perhaps miracles. Just two days before the ghetto’s liquidation in September 1943, Ruth escaped with the help of a Christian woman, her former boss’ wife, and found a hiding place in a barn on a farm 20 kilometers from Vilna, where she hid for nearly a year. During the last two months in the barn, Ruth wrote a diary in Yiddish describing her three-year ordeal.

NIS 104.00
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The diary is an extraordinary document in which Ruth, not knowing if she will come out of the barn alive, bares her soul as she writes down her personal thoughts and feelings about everything she has lived through. After the liberation, Ruth made her way back to Vilna and while wandering the devastated streets, she rejoiced upon meeting Lazar Engelstern, the longtime friend of her late husband. They married, had a son, David, and moved to the U.S. in 1949 to begin a new life. However, the harsh conditions of piercing cold and solitude that she had endured in the barn had taken their toll. After a long illness, Ruth succumbed in 1955 at the age of forty-five. Written in a Barn, the English version of the diary, translated from Yiddish by Ruth’s son David, is the inspirational story of a lone woman’s stubborn battle against her sealed fate who never gave up hope and found the path that led to life. This rare diary is one of the few records of the Vilna ghetto in the Holocaust literature written by a woman.

The diary is an extraordinary document in which Ruth, not knowing if she will come out of the barn alive, bares her soul as she writes down her personal thoughts and feelings about everything she has lived through. After the liberation, Ruth made her way back to Vilna and while wandering the devastated streets, she rejoiced upon meeting Lazar Engelstern, the longtime friend of her late husband. They married, had a son, David, and moved to the U.S. in 1949 to begin a new life. However, the harsh conditions of piercing cold and solitude that she had endured in the barn had taken their toll. After a long illness, Ruth succumbed in 1955 at the age of forty-five. Written in a Barn, the English version of the diary, translated from Yiddish by Ruth’s son David, is the inspirational story of a lone woman’s stubborn battle against her sealed fate who never gave up hope and found the path that led to life. This rare diary is one of the few records of the Vilna ghetto in the Holocaust literature written by a woman.

Products specifications
Size 23.5X15.5
Publisher Yad Vashem
Cover hard
Translator David Engles
Year 2023
No. of Pages 168
ISBN 978-965-308-684-5
Product tags
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