• In Memoriam: Masha Rolnikaite (1927–2016)
Masha Rolnikaite, a Yiddish and Russian writer, and author of the world-famous book I Have to Tell, has passed away. She was born in Klaipeda, Lithuania, to the family of a Jewish lawyer. In 1939, the family moved to Vilnius (Vilna). The following year, Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union, which in turn was invaded by Germany in 1941. Rolnikaite kept a diary of her experiences beginning with the outbreak of the war. She survived the Vilna Ghetto and two concentration camps, and was eventually liberated by the Red Army, but the Nazis killed her mother and two younger siblings. Based on her diary, Rolnikaite’s memoir was first published in Lithuanian in 1963 as I Have to Tell. The Yiddish original and a Russian translation, produced by Rolnikaite herself, followed in 1965. The book was subjected to thoroughgoing revisions by Soviet censors. Still it was a unique case of a Holocaust survivor’s account being officially published in the Soviet Union. Rolnikaite lived in Leningrad/Petersburg from 1964 on. She was the author of numerous books and essays, all of which deal with a single subject: the Holocaust. This commemorative issue of the magazine opens with recollections about this outstanding human being contributed by her colleagues and friends.
• History: The Writings of a Soviet Anne Frank?
Written by Anja Tippner, professor of Slavic Studies at Hamburg University, the essay presented here in Russian translation deals with Masha Rolnikaite’s Holocaust memoir I Have to Tell and its place in Soviet literature. The original English version was published in the collection Representation of the Holocaust in Soviet Literature and Film (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2013).
• Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: May–June 2016
• Bibliography: 15 New Books