The Croatian translation of the book “We, little girls in Auschwitz” was presented in the Council Hall of the City of Rijeka on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We, little girls in Auschwitz” is a shocking confession of sisters Andra and Tatiana Bucci, who were six and four years old when they were deported with their family from Rijeka, after a brief stop in the San Sabba rice mill in Trieste, to Auschwitz II – Birkenau, concentration camp. The Bucci sisters are two of the few dozen girls and boys who survived the extermination camp in which over 230,000 children from all over Europe died. The book, “We, little girls in Auschwitz”, was published in 2019 by the Mondadori publishing house, and was also translated into German, and is currently being translated into English.

In this book, the Bucci sisters give for the first time a personal testimony of everything they experienced in the concentration camp. They survived the selections perhaps because they thought they were twins, perhaps because they were daughters of a Catholic father, or simply because of a game of destiny.

The mayor of Rijeka Vojko Obersnel, who on the initiative of the professor Ivo Goldstein started the publication of the book in Croatian, gave an introductory speech and the County vice president Petar Mamula. Ivo Goldstein, Ines Grgurina, history teacher at the First Croatian Grammar School in Rijeka and the curator of the Croatian edition Dragan Ogurlić spoke about the meaning of the Holocaust and how this initiative was born.

Mayor Obersnel expressed the hope that the book would also be presented in other Croatian cities, because it carried an extremely strong message.

“Today, it is even more important to warn through the story of this book and the story of the Holocaust that sadly we have not learned much from all the horrors that took place in recent European history. We are witnesses that even today there are people who are willing to divide other people based on their religious or national affiliation, skin colour or political affiliation”, said mayor Obersnel, stressing that that and all similar books were a permanent warning that such horrors should never repeat again.

Ivo Goldstein met the Bucci sisters in Rome during a conference of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA), where a cartoon about the sisters who had survived Auschwitz was presented. On that occasion, Goldstein asked them if they would like to come to Rijeka, which they accepted with great joy. In March 2019, accompanied by their families, they visited Rijeka, and on that occasion, a stolperstein block was placed in front of the house from which they were deported. In 2019, the pupils attending elementary schools in Rijeka also had an opportunity to watch this cartoon.

The sisters Andra and Tatiana Bucci addressed the attendees via a video message.

Andra Bucci said she was happy and excited about the presentation of the book in Croatian in Rijeka. “Fiume – Rijeka – no matter how you call it, it is always our city. When in 2019 the stolperstein block was placed in front of the house where we had lived in Rijeka and from where we had been deported, we met the mayor Vojko Obersnel, who suggested that we translate the book into Croatian, which we immediately accepted. I think that the tragedy we experienced should not happen in today’s Europe. Europe is a young country, young people are the future of the whole world and it is certain that they will remember, learn and not repeat the last century’s mistakes. Of that I am sure.”

Tatiana Bucci said that the presentation of the book “We, little girls in Auschwitz” was deeply moving. “We are here today to remember the history of Europe, especially that part that concerned different people, among which, unfortunately, me too. ”

The sisters thanked mayor Vojko Obersnel for everything he had done for them and all those who had worked on the translation of the book and its presentation, and special thanks to Dijana Jelušić Požarić, mayor’s associate, who helped them a lot in all.

The promotion was also attended by the deputy mayor of Rijeka Marko Filipović, the Consul General of Italy in Rijeka Davide Bradanini, the rector of the University of Rijeka Snježana Prijić-Samaržija and the president of the Jewish Community of Rijeka Ranko Špigl.

The Croatian edition of the book “We, little girls in Auschwitz” with the subtitle “Our Confession: How did we survive the Holocaust?”, was published at the end of 2020 by the publishing house Naklada Val from Rijeka.

The book was published under the auspices of the City of Rijeka and the Primorje – Gorski Kotar County.

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