1940 SUPER, ORIGINAL PRE-STATE OF ISRAEL DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A YOUNG IMMIGRANT GIRL DETAILING A FULL AND COMPLETE LIFE IN THE HOLY LAND WHILE THE DARK, DESTRUCTIVE BACK DROP OF WWII LOOMS

By: RUTH ASCHNER

Price: $5,855.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is a notebook and diary In Hebrew authored by Ruth Aschner, a daughter of German refugees who came to Israel in mid-1930s. The notebook measures 8,1' x 6,2', contains 138 pages, and is 90% complete. The pages are slightly yellowed, and there are some scribbles on the cover, and some pages, but otherwise the condition is good and the handwriting is very legible. On the 41st page there is text: "General notebook of Ruth Aschner, Carmel Mountain, Ben-Zion Neighborhood, Aschner House", followed by a record dated 1937 with rules of a ball game rules. Though cursory search did not reveal much information, it is clear from the context that the family came to Mandatory Palestine in mid-1930s, at the time Ruth was writing her diary she was between 11 -14 years old, her father worked at "Migdal" (most likely Migdal insurance company) - Ruth writes about his trips to Jerusalem on business and in one of the entries writes that someone broke into his car and stole his work documents ("acts"), "everything collected during the months of work in MIgdal". The first 80 pages are school notes, including conjugation tables, reading and grammar rules with explanations in German writing practice in Hebrew, riddles and jokes, lists of books, a list of about 140 pictures from Degel cigarette packs, Kedem tobacco company, a list of students with their birthdays, and more. The most interesting part is 46 pages titled "Private Diary belonging to Ruth Aschner, from September 1940 to the end of May 1941". The entries vary in length, there are usually 3 to 5 entries on each page, but there are some that take more than one page. It could be a typical description of everyday life of a school girl, but almost every entry includes details reflecting the most tragic and turbulent time in the 20th century history. She writes about Italian bombings of Haifa, SS Patria disaster, Yugoslavia Coup d'Etat, death of Greek Prime Minister Metaxas. The very first entry starts with description of a bombing: "In the afternoon the Rozens came to visit us, suddenly there was an attack, the siren did not work, all the bombs fell into the sea. Then we went to a dressmaker that is making a dress and a school skirt for me. Yehudit Ben-Zion and her family moved to another apartment, not close..." [Sept. 6, 1940]. Italian bombings of Mandatory Palestine during WW2 were targeting ports and refineries in Palestine, primarily Haifa and Tel-Aviv. Haifa was hit many times since June 1940, the bombings continued until June 1941, and so does her diary - along with describing bombings, sirens, hiding in shelter, she writes about weather, school, trips, scout activities, music lessons, entertainment: "In the afternoon I have a music lesson. In the morning Yehudit came here [...]. For dinner I made salad - tomatoes with salt, onion, oil and vinegar. At 2.30 p.m. there was an attack again, we ran to the bomb shelter, the bombs fell near the "refinery", the siren was late as usually. At 7.10 there was an attack, I was at Dalia's ...The news are not clear... ". [Sept. 8, 1940]; "In the morning at 8.45 the siren sounded - we ran to the shelter, I was still in pajamas...I helped mother, later I will go to the shoemaker....there have been 5 attacks already and in all of them tanks were burning. Together with those that I mentioned there were 8. At 2.10 the siren sounded again and we ran to the shelter ... did not hear anything...then I was in the middle of dishwashing. Then there was another attack at 2.30, we did not hear anything, ran to the shelter, then after all-clear signal we went up. In the evening I will go to the dressmaker to try clothes on. Two letters came today, one from England, one from America. At 5 in the evening there was another attack and we ran to the shelter again. It makes you crazy - 4 times during the day...terrible.... [...]. Dad, Harry and Paula will go to the cinema to see "Verdi" in the evening [...]" [Sept.9, 1940]. On that day there were no casualties in Haifa, but 147 people were killed in Tel-Aviv, about which she writes 3 days later: "On 9.9 there was a bombing in Tel-Aviv, about 120 people were killed, 100 of them Jewish. Jews were destroyed and injured at their homes. Enemy airplanes were flying low, after the event the siren sounded...." In November another tragic event happens, this time in Haifa: "Several days ago there arrived a ship with refugees from Germany and occupied countries, she has been in the port for a week already and the English do not allow them to get off ... There are some people we know, like Epstein and other...". In November three ships with over 3,600 Jewish refugees arrived in Haifa, but the British refused their entry, and the passengers were transferred to another ship, SS Patria. Yishuv leaders organized a general strike, but it had little effect: "19.11 40: today there is a strike at 12:00 until midnight because they do not want to allow people to get off from the ship ...." On November 25 overloaded SS Patria sank because of the explosion: "25.11. Disaster happened...The ship Patria sank. Do not know why it happened. They say that it exploded but it is only rumours. People did not drown, but 30 were injured and transported to Hadassah. The others are sitting in the port without clothes, so we organized into groups and stations and collected clothes and blankets for the refugees....." Unfortunately she was wrong - over two hundred and seventy people drowned, 172 were injured. As it became known many years later the explosion was organized by Haganah members as an attempt to prevent the ship from leaving the port, but they miscalculated the size of explosion. She also writes about political news from Europe, there is a part titled "politics" in some of her entries - usually it is a newspaper clipping accompanied by her comments: "I think that instead of writing what I think is right, it would be better to take pieces from newspaper (in newspapers they know politics better than I do)". The clippings include an article about death of Greek Prime-minister Ioannis Metaxas, a headline about certificates issued to Jewish refugees, and an article about Belgrade Coup D'Etat of March 27, 1941 that replaced pro-Nazi government with young King Peter II opposing to Nazi Germany: "Big revolution in Yugoslavia. Regent Paul left, the young King Peter 17.5 years old came to power against Hitler and the old Prime-minister was arrested because he wanted to support Hitler (Peter is a "terribly" nice boy, he immediately became loved, I like him very much. 17 year old boy and the king, very, very unusual)..." [Apr. 3, 1941]. She writes about events important for the Jewish community in Palestine, like a few lines about Henrietta Szold birthday and about the death of Dov Hoz, Labor Zionist leader, in a car accident. Her diary is a great evidence of what life for Jewish refugees was like in pre-state Israel. She mentions many movies and performances they saw: "I went with the parents now to "Matate" - "Lights in darkness" and will come back in the evening..." "Matate" was a satirical theatre established in 1928. There are several detailed descriptions of her trips with Tzofim (Jewish scouts) to Tiberias, Hurshat Ha'arbaim, Kibbutz Yagur and Druz village Isfiya, as well as of small family trips to Jerusalem. She writes about her friends and family birthdays, and even gives the recipe of a chocolate fish she made for her father. This is an excellent document of life in Mandatory Palestine during the first years of the Second World War. It contains references to many historical events as seen by a young girl and provides valuable information for local historians and genealogists, including names of local residents, Aschner family and friends, students and teachers from Ruth's school and Tzofim movement, many with their birthdays. It also contains information about cultural events in the city and school program and activities.

Title: 1940 SUPER, ORIGINAL PRE-STATE OF ISRAEL DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A YOUNG IMMIGRANT GIRL DETAILING A FULL AND COMPLETE LIFE IN THE HOLY LAND WHILE THE DARK, DESTRUCTIVE BACK DROP OF WWII LOOMS

Author Name: RUTH ASCHNER

Illustrator: /

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Diary, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Judaica,

Publisher: HAIFA, ISRAEL, 1936

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 0008193

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF; 1940s; 20TH CENTURY; WW2, SECOND WORLD WAR; ITALIAN BOMBINGS OF HAIFA; HAIFA REFINERY BOMBINGS; LIFE OF JEWISH IMMIGRANTS IN PRE-STATE ISRAEL; MANDATORY PALESTINE; ISRAEL; PRE-STATE ISRAEL; JEWISH REFUGEES IN MANDATORY PALESTINE; REFUGEES FROM NAZI GERMANY; HEBREW SCHOOLS IN MANDATORY PALESTINE; "MATATE" SATIRICAL THEATRE; READING PATTERNS OF JEWISH YOUTHS IN PRE-STATE ISRAEL; PATRIA DISASTER; HURSHAT HA'ARBAIM; BEN-ZION NEIGHBORHOOD (HAIFA); SCHOOL TRIPS IN MANDATORY PALESTINE; ISFIYA; MOUNT CARMEL; YAGUR; YUGOSLAV COUP D'ETAT, KING PETER II OF YUGOSLAVIA; IOANNIS METAXAS; HAR CARMEL WATER TOWER; CARMEL MOUNTAIN; TZOFIM; HEBREW SCOUTS MOVEMENT; JEWISH YOUTH MOVEMENT; MIGDAL COMPANY; DOV HOZ; JEWISH YOUTH IN MANDATORY PALESTINE; IMMIGRATION TO PRE-STATE ISRAEL; FIFTH ALIYAH; FIFTH WAVE OF IMMIGRATION TO ISRAEL; YISHUV; HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL