Thea's Diary
Monday, January 27, 2003

A 10 part dramatisation of Thea Gersten's diary began on Radio 4's Woman's Hour today at 10.45 am, repeated at 7.45pm. Thea Gersten of West Yorkshire fled Leipzig, Germany in 1939. And the Guardian today reviewed her book, Thea's Diary (likened to the Anne Frank diary) spans events from 1939 to 1947.

From the Guardian: "Thea Gersten was seven years old when Hitler came to power in 1933, her brother Adi two years older. Their parents, Polish Jews, had moved to Leipzig before their marriage... Their father was a successful fur trader whose adherence to strictly Orthodox Judaism sat easily alongside a taste for Leipzig's high-class culture. The Nazis smashed this self-protective cocoon on Kristallnacht, November 10 1938. Synagogues were burned down, Jewish shops, schools and homes - including the Gerstens' - were destroyed, and the men dragged off to concentration camps.

Thea told the Mytholmroyd.Net this afternoon that her book was presently only published in the German language so the easiest way to find out what it was about was by listening to the Radio 4 dramatisation.

She said one of her children moved to West Yorkshire and she followed 4 years ago. She previously lived in South Manchester. She said she loved this area. Many people were approaching her to do "talks" and she takes up as many invitations as she can. Aged 77 she now makes frequent trips back to Germany (and Leipzig) and visits schools to tell the story of the Holocaust.

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