Ruth Maier was born into a middle-class Jewish family in interwar Vienna. Following the Anschluss of Austria in March 1938, the world of the substantial Viennese Jewish community crumbled. In early 1939, her sister having left for England, Ruth emigrated to Norway and lived with a family in Lillestr m, about thirty miles from Oslo. Although she loved many things about her new country and its people, Ruth s relationship with her hosts soon turned stale, then sour. Ruth became increasingly isolated in Norway until she met a soul mate, Gunvor Hofmo, who was to become a celebrated poet. Norway itself became a Nazi conquest in April 1940, and Ruth s attempts to join the rest of her family now in Britain became ever more urgent. She never left Norway, and in November 1942 she was deported to Auschwitz where she was exterminated on arrival. She had just turned twenty-two. Ruth Maier kept a diary from 1934 until just before she was murdered. Despite being only in her teens she shows a sophisticated understanding of the political forces shaping central Europe as well as extraordinary prescience. The book is much more than just historical documentation, however. In a lucid yet highly l
Ruth Maier was born into a middle-class Jewish family in interwar Vienna. She emigrated to Norway and was deported to Auschwitz in November 1942, where she was killed on arrival, aged only twenty-two. Ruth's diary is a testament to the remarkable writer she could have become. The diary came to light after the book's editor, Jan Erik Vold, found sections of the manuscript amongst the papers of Ruth's friend, the eminent Norwegian poet, Gunvor Hofmo, following her death in 1995.