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Illinois Holocaust Museum exhibit highlights diary of 14-year-old girl in Nazi ghetto in 1940s

Illinois Holocaust Museum exhibit highlights diary of girl in Nazi ghetto in 1940s
Illinois Holocaust Museum exhibit highlights diary of girl in Nazi ghetto in 1940s 01:07

SKOKIE, Ill. (CBS) -- A new exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum documents highlights the diary of a 14-year-old girl living a Nazi ghetto in the 1940s.

"The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Łódz Ghetto" opened on Thursday.

Rywka Lipszyc's diary was liberated at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1945. It was found by a Soviet doctor in the ashes of a crematorium.

The diary traveled to the United States more than 60 years after it was discovered – and it was translated into English, supplemented with commentary, and published, the museum noted.

"Only when she passed away, and her son passed away, did the doctor's granddaughter – who had moved to the United States – find it with her family's belongings, and brought it with her back to San Francisco," said Arielle Weininger, chief curator of collections and exhibits at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. "At that point in time, she took it to a Holocaust researcher – who read the diary, got it translated – and only then did we find out the story of Rywka Lipszyc."

In the diary, Rywka documented her life in the Łódz Ghetto between October 1943 and April 1944. She had already lost her siblings and parents, but never gave up hope, the museum noted.

There are no known photos of Rywka, and it is not known what she looked like, the museum notes.

The exhibit walks visitors through Rywka's faith, hope, and fight for survival with historical artifacts and documents, interactive touch screens, documentary videos, and photographs. The exhibit also reconstructs what might have happened to Rywka after she was deported to Auschwitz.

The exhibit is on display through Sept. 24 at the museum, at 9603 Woods Dr. in Skokie.

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