Auschwitz librarian Dita Kraus in her own words

27 January 2020 - 10:56
The powerful memoir of the librarian of Auschwitz.
A Delayed Life: The powerful memoir of the librarian of Auschwitz.
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Born in Prague to a Jewish family in 1929, Dita Kraus has lived through the most turbulent decades of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Here, Dita writes with startling clarity on the horrors and joys of a life delayed by the Holocaust.

From her earliest memories and childhood friendships in Prague before the war to the Nazi-occupation that saw her and her family sent to the Jewish ghetto at Terezín, to the unimaginable fear and bravery of her imprisonment in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and life after liberation.

Dita writes unflinchingly about the harsh conditions of the camps and her role as librarian of the precious books that her fellow prisoners managed to smuggle past the guards. But she also looks beyond the Holocaust – to the life she rebuilt after the war: her marriage to fellow survivor Otto B Kraus, a new life in Israel and the happiness and heartbreaks of motherhood.

Part of Dita's story was told in fictional form in the Sunday Times bestseller, The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe. Her memoir tells the full story in her own words.