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Magdalena Klein was born in 1920, in Marghita, Romania. In 1944, she was deported with her parents and sisters from their home in Nagyvarad, Hungary (today Oradea, Romania) to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The poetic journal Magdalena kept since a teenager shows the stark contrast between her youthful love of life and the grim reality of the world around her. On the one hand are her intellectual brilliance and her confidence in herself; on the other are the apparent hopelessness of her situation.
Petite and physically frail, Magdalena was able to survive starvation, forced marches and other atrocities during the Holocaust, but not the emotional pain and nightmares, which haunted her later. Her poems bear witness to what a human being can and cannot endure.
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Magda was born in 1920 as the youngest of eight siblings to a middle-class Jewish family. They lived in the northwestern part of Romania, in Marghita, then moved to Oradea in 1938. As a young woman, she witnessed the rise of fascism in Europe and in May of 1944, she and her family were deported from the Oradea ghetto to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She survived the harsh days of concentration camp, but lost her parents, several sisters, other close relatives, and friends.
Magda kept a poetic journal before and immediately after the Holocaust. Several of her poems were translated and published in this volume. These poems reflect the stark contrast between Magda's intellectual brilliance and confidence in herself and the apparent hopelessness of the days leading up to deportation as well as the world to which she returned afterwards.About the Author:
Susan Simpson Geroe, Magdalena's niece, translated and edited the poems in this volume. She lives and writes in San Diego, California.
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