After reading Antonio Iturbe’s The Librarian of Auschwitz, the well-researched and agonizing novel based on the true story of Dita Kraus, I was happy to discover that Dita Kraus is still with us, apparently as sharp and feisty as ever at 92.
She has her own website here where she sells her delicate paintings of flowers, a few of the books mentioned in Iturbe’s novel, and provides a link to her own memoir A Delayed Life: The true story of the Librarian of Auschwitz which was published in 2020.
Look at the book with Amazon’s look inside feature, and you’ll find some amazing writing, pragmatic, incisive, and bluntly honest, as this excerpt shows:
From the Publisher
The powerful, heart-breaking memoir of Dita Kraus, THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ
Dita Kraus was born in Prague in 1929 – in her powerful new memoir she writes about her childhood before the war and then during the Nazi-occupation that saw her and her family sent to the Jewish ghetto at Terezín and from there to Auschwitz and then Bergen-Belsen.
Dita writes powerfully and unflinchingly about the harsh conditions of the camps and her role as librarian of the precious books the prisoners had managed to smuggle past the guards. She also writes about the liberation of the camps and her chance meeting with fellow survivor Otto B Kraus after the war.
Part of Dita’s story was told in fictional form in the Sunday Times bestseller THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio Iturbe.
I am so impressed with this fine lady, that I ordered the book immediately. Perhaps it will fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge about her. If I had her persistence and bravery and dedication, I could move mountains–that’s pretty much what she did in the family unit school at Auschwitz-Birkenau when she was fourteen years old in this unholy place: