Note: Several entries from the period July 15 to September 8 are omitted from the selection below. While they are presented in sequence here, entries in Hauser's diary often do not appear in chronological order; some entries follow on the opposite page rather than on the next leaf. See citations for notes on the translation and guidelines for reading the selections alongside the original German text.
Wednesday [15 July, 1942]1
Young woman fallen from the bridge and dead.2 In spite of something to eat for three days, [I] feel today that my strength is at an end and must now sacrifice the last to stave off starvation. For the child's sake. He gets no help from his father, who values only cigarettes and cups of burnable scraps.3 He is wasteful, and I have no power over him. We are lost with him. I'm supposed to take bread to him at the bank and I can't drag myself anymore. He's leaving us to die without batting an eye. I have sacrificed everything, money, belongings, and strength, and it's not even enough for him. He wants the last penny just for cigarettes. I can't go on, my protruding bones hurt. Washed [the] tricot dress for Frau Fuchs. It's about trading services now. Thank God, I've found people who will stand by me as much as can be possible here. I want to force myself once more to have the courage to live, God willing, for my child, the poor little thing. We are in such a bad state because there was absolutely no money sent to us. May God deliver us soon, at his will. The agony is so great, the sins are already expiated for the others. I pray for speedy release. God, let me fall asleep in peace and rest with my mother, my last wish, if I have to pass over. The child cries [from] hunger, the father [wants] cigarettes, the mother wants to die—family life in the ghetto. For now my heart still works, but it can't possibly outlast the war.
I've been eating good soup for three days, and my strength is fading by the hour. Was at the housing office, as [I] can't get up the stairs anymore and everything is very hard to reach. Just cronyism [there], as the world over; I don't even have enough pull to die, and I'm not going of my own accord, my child has to have me, God have mercy on us in this last minute, there is no other resort anymore. [Have had] ration coupons for 6 days, and [they] aren't issuing [the rations]. Leo explodes because the rations are eaten up and today is Thursday. The next, not until Monday, they give out 3 bunches of carrots per family.
Ms. Fuchs provided my most recent lifesaver. Lord stand by me and my child, because I can't go on, a miracle has to happen otherwise we're done, we can't go on. Erich is sweating in the bed from weakness, eerie to watch, the flies are sitting on his eyes and mouth, as intrusive as the people around here, awful people. To this day we haven't received mail from anybody and 9 months here, it's exasperating.
Can't go on. Either a doctor helps me stand up or it's all over for me,7 tomorrow I go to the hospital; Dr. Proskauer has prescribed 50 dkg of yeast and Diakohle8 for me and the child because of malnutrition, it would cost 75 marks. But in the milk shop 7 marks.9
May God grant that this helps, because I can't go on. Gave Bubi [sic] courage.
Delivery of vegetables from 12 to 2 p.m. I come downstairs, [but it was] changed to between 7 and 8. So you go up and down the stairs for nothing, and this is the daily state of affairs. Stand in line for sausage for 5 hours in vain.
Bread at 5 a.m. Windows shatter, that's what happens, a matter of life and death. The clerks are worthless, you don’t get any information.
In Jakuba school women and girls wear pants and they complain.11
There goes a yekke12 with the blanket. He buys himself butter, margarine. He has no oven, no bread to buy, he buys himself a bonbon—a visa for Marysin.13 Ghetto songs.
My child goes hungry such a good boy and I cry quite silently and one can't be broken. The way from Marischin to the ghetto took 1 hour and the child was not wanted on the cart.
Come along to Marischin, help us pull the cart,14 it's the greatest sport, in this climatic health resort. It would have been best if they had buried us outside on arrival, because one feels the atrocity of this life every hour.
Bedroom changed, more cheerful, first yeast [was] eaten, mixed with roux and spread on bread.
Have severe pain. Bubi rubs me with vinegar water, nervous breakdown. Have ointment from the doctor, very good remedy. Still have 30 dkg of yeast left from Dr. Konnstein.
[Leo] goes and sells the child's jacket and trousers. He wants to take everything, if only it were already over. I'm lying here as if paralyzed, he's unwilling to call a doctor because he doesn't want to pay, I'm sorry for the poor child. Frau Fuchs went 2x to Dr. Konnstein with me. Was examined and prescribed medicine, also yeast, Bubi ate up my 20 dkg because he was hungry and there was no bread. Today [I'm] going to the hospital for an X-ray17 and then I'm supposed to work to get the coupon. Because of my severe undernourishment I have awful pains in my back and am hungry.
Today it's 9 months that we are here, also a Friday. 2 executions because of holdup murder. 1/2 bread and 60 Mark. 18-year-old lads are falling over. My neighbors, woman 46 daughter 17 daughter under me 2 year old child dead from starvation and so on. Soon there has to come rescue for us otherwise we are all destroyed, god help us. Mr. and Ms. Fuchs are helping me in every manner to ease this terrible situation and Bubi gets a bite, he is so hungry. These people are my saviors. Leo is going out today on an apartment matter, I wasn't, thought we should stay at home alone.
....Leo has managed ineptly. All 3 of us have been ruined by it, last resort Herr and Frau Fuchs and Dr. Konnstein. There are lots of vegetables and no fat and flour, more than 100 people die every day from feebleness. Many young men. Must have a lung X-ray on 31 July.
Can't go, as I'm afraid to lose anything because I'm so thin. Today we have 3 butter, 2 farmer cheese, no saccharine for the day. Bubi gets in line for vegetables at 3:30. Nevertheless he's starved and looks bad. I've been praying since early morning for my child to stay healthy and not get as debilitated as I am. Leo tells me to fight against a shadow. He's on the wrong side to play the good one. He always promises to share but then leaves me no money. No power in the world can change him, if I live through this, I'll move somewhere else with the child. I'll gladly work for us and the child. Fischgasse21 has threatened him.
The rich sell bowls of vegetables to the poor or trade them for clothes of people who have been resettled here. Hunger drives the price of food sky-high, especially bread, flour, fruit and soup from the workshops. If no rations are given out.
33 marks and no food. Vegetables 7.50, butter 1 dkg farmer cheese 14.50 + 5 dkg + 2 d. to stew for 3 people. Only bread for lunch. 1 ½ bu. … [illegible]
Days without food: 6 February 1942. 27 April 1942. 9 February 1942. 2 May 1942. 15 February (etc. etc. up to 18 April 1942)
Leo’s summons [to] Fischgasse regarding separation.
Go to the office. [Leo] will be resettled and the bloody clothing will come back. More likely he intends to destroy all 3 of us. I have to act now, as he wants to have the child and I am supposed to move out so that he can still take advantage of it. He stops at nothing, threatens incessantly, and I can't stay near him a day longer. Today—decision.
Agreed to dissolve the [marital] union. Moved in with Mrs. Hofrat, Wilhelm St, first floor, no. 28.
I am lying down today with diarrhea from bad bread. Frau Lilly cooks the potatoes for us. Have no grain flakes and need them badly. At the pharmacy, still no strychnine. Leo has 8 days of sick leave and already on the 3rd day nothing to eat. We can't give him anything, potatoes are missing from my rations every day.
Today they take all the hospitals, send them all away. Children from the apartments, if Erich has to go, I'll go too. Sudden drop in temperature and cold. Alarm. 2 September. No rain in weeks. Have diarrhea today 16 times. Frau Lukin brings Bubi potato soup with bread at 1:30 p.m., as Leo has let us down. I have my little piece of bread with water.
Fuchs supplies yeast, eat with bread and 4 potatoes each by evening. Very hot day. Flies a nuisance.
At embroidery workshop with Frau Lilly and Benedikt on trial. Will let me know in 2 days about acceptance. Rumkowky [sic] spoke 4 p.m.26 They want to steal 13,000 children from us within 6 days. God help us. All the mothers are crying, and I don't want to believe it. 10:45 p.m. alarm. 11:15 light bomb on Gestapo next to us. 1:30 a.m. second alarm, rocket flares along the periphery.
Saturday. Children picked up at 6 a.m., Judengasse. Kirchgasse, awful yelling. Pull them down off the trucks and keep the police in check. Bread came 1 day early, 20 dkg too little per person. Have eaten it up in 4 meals, now I have none for 2 days.
Now 3 trucks are in front of building no. 3-5 and they don't know what to do because all the mothers ran away with their children. We did too. Stayed with Bubi until 2:30 in a shed, then posting of notice about 5 p.m. curfew. Everyone has to go home. At 3:30 a truck full of 65-year-olds and children up to age 10 drives away. Now a quiet night will follow, after this terror.
Wonderful Sunday rest. We have nothing to eat and drink. Thank God, Frau Lilly sends me 3 marks. In exchange for that, Frau Lukin gives me stalks and beet-greens. Make soup and greens. Was quite good but it gave Bubi and me diarrhea. The truck has been standing for hours at no. 5. Leo is downstairs at the front entrance. People are standing around nervously in the courtyards, the children in the rooms, and we're awaiting our fate. The truck left at 3:30 with the children, some mothers went too, and old people. Now it won't start again until 5 a.m. In the evening Bubi has diarrhea and is vomiting, caused by the soup. I [have] diarrhea 5 times. We are all worn out. 3 days no bread and in addition the curfew,
No workshop is operating this week. Only police and firemen are allowed on the streets. Yesterday evening the biggest storm, dry from 7 to 10 p.m. and then 2 hours of rain with thunder and lightning. Thank God. Now it's 7:30 in the morning and I'm waiting to see if I will have soup for the child. Leo gets a second pair of shoes and lets the child go hungry. At 10 a.m. Bubi has jaundice. Face swollen. At no. 13 the truck drives away with children, maybe it would be better to go along. Bubi doesn't want to go voluntarily. Now it's 12:30 and nobody is fond of us, we have nothing in our stomachs.
Now the hardest days are coming, no money and not a morsel of bread, my poor child is already low-spirited from hunger, my heart bleeds, dear God what shall I do, jaundice on top of everything else. Leo is completely swollen, one eye almost closed, clubfooted from hunger. We live on cold, bitter tea.
At 4 a.m. the Kinderaktion27 continues with the help of the military, as it was taking too much time. We continue to fear. Bubi doesn't want to go with me voluntarily, I thought that we might get soup sooner, let's just rely on God, humans can't help us because there are none. Since 6 a.m. they have been standing, staying and waiting for bread, despite the curfew and closed shops, no one has work and we are 100,000 cowardly people and don't move a muscle.