The librarian of Auschwitz

In November 1942, Dita Kraus was sent to the Theresienstadt ghetto. From there she was transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where she became the librarian of the smallest library in the world.

December 21, 2017 16:05
DITA KRAUS, 88, at her Netanya home.

DITA KRAUS, 88, at her Netanya home.. (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Among the famous library collections written about in Alberto Manguel’s book The Library at Night is the one that existed at Block 31 – the Children’s Block – in Auschwitz-Birkenau. This minuscule library, consisting of about 12 books, was run from 1943 to 1944 by a 14-year-old Czechoslovakian girl named Dita Polachova. It was a job that preserved her sanity amid the inferno of Auschwitz.

Today, Dita, 88, lives alone in Netanya. Conscious of the dwindling number of survivors, I brought my sister, children and two nephews to hear her story.


Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Cookie Settings