"As a fourteen-year-old Jewish boy living in Prague in the early 1940s, Petr Ginz dutifully kept a diary that captured the increasingly precarious texture of daily life. Petr was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz at the age of sixteen, and his diaries - recently discovered in a Prague attic under extraordinary circumstances - now read as the prescient eyewitness account of a meticulous observer." "Petr was a young prodigy - a budding artist and writer whose paintings, drawings, and writings reflect his insatiable appetite for learning and experience. He records the grim facts of his everyday life with a child's keen eye for the absurd and the tragic - when Jews are forced to identify themselves with the yellow star of David, he writes "on the way to school I counted sixty-nine 'sheriff' " - and throughout, his youthful sense of mischief never dims. In the space of a few pages, Petr muses on the prank he plays on his science class, and reveals that his cousins are being made to turn over all their furniture and belongings, having been summoned east in the next transport." "The diary ends with Petr's own summons to Thereisenstadt, where he would become the driving force behind the secret newspaper, Vedem ("We Lead"), and where he would continue to draw, paint, write, and read, furiously educating himself for a future he would never see."--BOOK JACKET.