As it happened, our November issue, which contained a package of stories about the Holocaust, “The Unforgotten,” was published just days before the killings at the Pittsburgh synagogue, said to be the deadliest attack against Jews on U.S. soil. “I can’t believe there could be a more timely read,” the Rev. Karl Giese of New Mexico wrote of “Hear, O Israel, Save Us,” the extraordinary diary by the Polish teenager Renia Spiegel, killed in 1942. “Renia will inhabit my mind for days to come,” Laura Keown said. “Thank you for not mincing words,” Donna Apidone of Sacramento said of the package, which included Dara Horn’s piercing essay about Anne Frank and anti-Semitism. Readers were also struck by the recent eyewitnesses to genocide described in “World, Wake Up!” John Thomas-Squire said, “The eloquence in the fate of extreme adversity is a testament to their humanity.”
Heartbreaking and inspiring all at the same time. Renia’s words will give voice to so many whose voices were silenced. Perhaps now is the exact right time for this to become more widely read...Renia speaks for so many.
— Kim Lewis | Facebook
I am filled with a sense of crushing sadness after reading Renia Spiegel’s diary, particularly in the light of the atrocity in Pittsburgh. Renia’s story is that of a precious and beautiful life stamped out, and it represents the millions who, still today, are falling victim to blind hatred.
— Christina Dixon | Reston, Virginia
Renia’s diary is a crucial reminder that, most often, one does not wake up to a suddenly changed world—the change comes slowly, one day at a time, in ways recognized and not. It’s a warning we would all do well to heed.
— Kelly Verdeck | Facebook
This wonderful issue featuring “lost voices” is a special read. It is unfortunate that the cover “The New Anne Frank” detracts from the stand-alone voice of Renia Spiegel, whose name appears in the smallest of fonts. She is not the new Anne Frank, she is Renia Spiegel, and she speaks for herself.
— Evan Goranson | New Lenox, Illinois
It was easy to get lost in Renia’s words. I felt like I was right there with her. Rooting for her, even though I knew what her ending was.
— Sarah Hardy | Facebook
After reading Renia’s journal and accompanying article, I experienced one of the most remarkable moments of my life. I’m not sure what reaction a non-Jewish Caucasian man in late middle age is supposed to have to this profound, beautiful, saddening work that took place amid something so indescribably heinous. But it did two things to me. The first is deep and simple grief—very much as if I just experienced the death of one of my sisters. And the second is that I began suddenly looking at my life with a subtler, deeper sense of gratitude, desire and beauty. So if it isn’t inappropriate to do so, I simply want to thank this precious girl—with all my heart—for her brief life and work. And I want to thank all involved for bringing it to us.
— Paul K. Ferrell | Sebring, Florida