At the beginning of the Nazi period, 25,000 Jewish people lived in Tarnow, Poland. By the end of the Second World War, nine remained. Like Anne Frank, Israel Unger and his family hid for two years in an attic crawl space above the Dagnan flour mill in Tarnow. Their stove was the chimney that went up through the attic; their windows were cracks in the wall. Survival depended on the food the adults were able to forage outside at night. Against all odds, they emerged alive. Now, decades later, here is Unger’s “unwritten diary.”
At the end of the war, following a time as people sans pays, the Unger family immigrated to Canada. After discovering a love of chemistry, Israel Unger had a stellar academic career, married, and raised a family in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The Unwritten Diary of Israel Unger is as much a Holocaust story as it is a story of a young immigrant making every possible use of the opportunities Canada had to offer.
This revised edition includes a reproduction of Dagnan’s List, a list of Jewish slave labourer similar Schindler’s List, made famous in the Steven Spielberg movie. The name of Israel Unger’s father appears on the list, in which Dagnan declares that Unger is an “essential worker”―a ruse that may have saved the father’s life. This recently discovered document proves that Israel Unger’s memory of this key part of the story was accurate. A new postscript details the importance of this startling document.
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