Hanna's Diary, 1938-1941: Czechoslovakia to Canada

Hanna s Diary Czechoslovakia to Canada From the preface For forty five years I had not opened the wooden box with the fancy hand carved lid I knew what was in it Together with miscellaneous keepsakes and photographs it contained six noteb

  • Title: Hanna's Diary, 1938-1941: Czechoslovakia to Canada
  • Author: Hanna Spencer
  • ISBN: 9780773522312
  • Page: 213
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the preface For forty five years I had not opened the wooden box with the fancy hand carved lid I knew what was in it Together with miscellaneous keepsakes and photographs, it contained six notebooks written in German This was the journal I kept from 1938 to 1941, during a crucial period in many people s lives, including mine The box had remained locked since 19From the preface For forty five years I had not opened the wooden box with the fancy hand carved lid I knew what was in it Together with miscellaneous keepsakes and photographs, it contained six notebooks written in German This was the journal I kept from 1938 to 1941, during a crucial period in many people s lives, including mine The box had remained locked since 1942, when I had pulled down my own iron curtain, shutting out the memories preserved on those pages But the time eventually came for the curtain to be raised The main reason for this change of mind was my profound regret that I had not quizzed my parents about their personal history I didn t want this to happen to my children and grandchildren Thus I brought myself to open the box, literally and figuratively, and set about translating the diaries from German into English strictly for the use of my family, or so I thought Hanna Fischl, a Czech of Jewish descent, was a twenty four year old teacher in a German speaking part of Czechoslovakia when Hitler s shadow loomed over Europe in 1938 No longer able to associate openly with her lover, Hans Feiertag, the talented, Christian composer whom she had loved since her teens, she began writing a diary at his request so that, once they were reunited, he could learn about her life while they had been apart Written in a touching and candid style, Hanna s Diary, 1938 1941 is the result of that request Hanna s Diary, 1938B1941 offers an intimate view of sweeping historical events that engulfed Europe and the world, evoking the creeping fear, desperate hopes, desertion of friends, and sense of isolation that Hanna Spencer felt as Nazism spread The diary follows Spencer to England where she faced misery of a different kind and then to Canada, where, as a young immigrant with a PhD, she worked in her uncle s glove making factory before finally landing a teaching job in Ottawa Spencer describes her experiences lecturing on Czechoslovaki s history and its takeover by the Nazis, and her resulting celebrity on the Ontario lecture circuit Written with clear wit and a sharp eye for detail, Hanna s Diary, 1938B1941 is a must read for anyone interested in the human side of the Second World War.

    One thought on “Hanna's Diary, 1938-1941: Czechoslovakia to Canada”

    1. I enjoyed reading this story, though it was very very sad. It's insane what people had to deal with back then in the concentration camps.

    2. Meh. I found this diary -- and the diarist's life -- remarkably boring and not very worthy of publication. The author, Hanna, was a young Jewish woman from Czechoslovakia, one of the ethnic German, German-speaking Czechs from the Sudetenland. She wrote the diary for her boyfriend, who was a German Christian and talented musician. They couldn't be together during the war, or even correspond with one another, because they could have gotten into a lot of trouble from the Aryan race laws. They lost [...]

    3. In addition to being connected to someone I know Hanna Spencer has a connection to an important aspect of Canadian history. The last note in the book details this connection: "Henry Spencer, the father of Edith and her brother Elvins, was an MP from 1921 to 1935 As whip of the Progressive Party in 1926, when the Liberals has a minority government, he played a significant role in forcing Mackenzie King to introduce progressive legislation, including the Old Age Pensions Act. Later he was a member [...]

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