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The Diary of Yitzchak Rudashevski

Bilhah Shilo

“The first great tragedy. People are harnessed to bundles which they drag across the pavement. People fall, bundles scatter. Before me a woman bends under her bundle. From the bundle a thin string of rice keeps pouring over the street…I think of nothing: not what I am losing, not what I have just lost, not what is in store for me. I do not see the streets before me, the people passing by. I only feel that I am terribly weary, I feel that an insult, a hurt is burning inside me. Here is the ghetto gate. I feel that I have been robbed, my freedom is being robbed from me, my home, and the familiar Vilna streets I love so much. I have been cut off from all that is dear and precious to me.”1

This is how Yitzchak Rudashevski, in his diary, describes the expulsion to the Vilna Ghetto. The diary was written from within the walls of the ghetto. Yitzchak’s words give us the impression that he understood that he was a part of a significant historical process and could influence fate.

Inside Rudashevski's Diary
Inside Rudashevski's Diary

Inside Rudashevski's Diary
Inside Rudashevski's Diary
Inside Rudashevski's Diary

Inside Rudashevski's Diary
  1. Yitskhok Rudashevski, The Diary of the Vilna Ghetto (Israel: Ghetto Fighters’ House, 1973), p. 32.
  2. Rudashevski, Diary, p. 33.
  3. Rudashevski, Diary, p. 29.
  4. Rudashevski, Diary, p. 47.
  5. Rudashevski, Diary, pp. 80-81.
  6. Rudashevski, Diary, p. 50.
  7. Rudashevski, Diary, pp. 56-57.
  8. Rudashevski, Diary, pp. 103-104.