CDN$ 39.17
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Ponary Diary, 1941-1943: ... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Ponary Diary, 1941-1943: A Bystander’s Account of a Mass Murder Hardcover – Dec 10 2005

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 39.17
CDN$ 19.45 CDN$ 32.83

Harry Potter Book Boutique
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; annotated edition edition (Dec 10 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300108532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300108538
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #757,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description


"This remarkable diary, written by a sympathetic Polish observer, gives a graphic and harrowing account of the mass murder of between fifty and sixty thousand Lithuanian Jews in the forest of Ponary just outside Vilna. It is a unique contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust."—Antony Polonsky, Brandeis University

(Antony Polonsky)

"Ponary Diary is a vivid, intimate account of mass murder, and chilling in its relentless detail. The Holocaust has few more compelling witnesses than Kazimierz Sakowicz."—Joshua Rubenstein, Northeast Regional Director, Amnesty International USA

(Joshua Rubenstein)

“[The Ponary Diary] is a chilling account of man’s inhumanity to man.”—Sheldon Kirshner, Canadian Jewish News

(Sheldon Kirschner Canadian Jewish News)

About the Author

YITZHAK ARAD is the author of Ghetto in Flames: The Struggle and Destruction of the Jews in Vilna and former chairman of the Directorate of Yad Vashem.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa850b084) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa870ef18) out of 5 stars Shocking document Feb. 4 2007
By cccp - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've decided to read this book because I visited Vilnius (Lithuania) last month and there I visited the KGB museum. The museum is very impressive, but where it does show a lot of wrongs of the KGB (when the Soviets were in power in Lith.), it hardly mentions anything at all about the significant role local Lithuanians played in the Holocaust during WW II. I stumbled upon this title by surfing Amazon, and then decided to order it. The 'Ponary Diary' is hard to digest realy. It is an almost casual diary of a Polish journalist who lived in the area of the infamous killing fields of Ponary. What I found so hard to digest, is the matter-of-fact style in which the entries are written. There is no emotion whatsoever, Sakowicz could have been describing the local cattle slaugther-house. But maybe it is a good thing he writes in such a distanced way, so the facts (the things he actually witnessed with his very own eyes) don't get blurred. I'm glad I read this book, but I would not want to read it again. It is that hard to take. (What bothered me also a bit, was the fact that nothing was written by way of an epilogue, of what happened to those sadistic Lithuanian and German mass-murderers. They remain nameless and faceless for the most part).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Franks here - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read many, probably too many, books on the holocaust.
I've written more than a few papers on the subject.
This book does stand out from the rest, not necessarily better than, but different than.
It is an excellent book, and it should be required reading for anyone interested in how "average citizens" ( the Lithuanians) could become the lapdogs of the Nazi machine.
Hatred is a powerful thing, and this book explains the banality of the power when an entire society succumbs to it.
HASH(0xa871263c) out of 5 stars On "lack of emotions": response to cccp May 15 2015
By aile.verte - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I would like to focus my review on responding to cccp's review comment regarding the lack of emotion in the book. This is an important point to raise, and no doubt other readers may have had a similar impression. However, we must consider this: the emotion of the bystander has to do with the "I" of the writer, and not with the horror he is witnessing. I take it as a sign of respect towards the victims, as utmost care in recording the facts as objectively as possible, that the writer uses a style that may seem almost "clinical", but which is in fact taut with hidden emotion -- the reader's own reaction to the book, one's own emotion, testifies to the horror that the writer must have experienced. That he does not overtly express it, only goes to his credit: he doesn't want to talk about himself, about what *he* feels: anything he might say of his own reaction would be incommensurate with the crime he witnessed. Had he written about his emotion, we would be right to judge his writing as self-indulgent. If, as a witness to the horror, I speak of my own emotions, of what I feel, am I not feeling sorry for myself rather than the victims? We mustn't confuse lack of dramatized emotionality (sentimentality) with indifference (an indifferent, unfeeling bystander does not bear witness at all...). Another thing we mustn't forget in reading this account is that it was written under extremely difficult conditions: this is no leisurely writing in the comfort and safety of the writer's home. Recording the events he witnessed was dangerous. Were he caught with these notes in his possession, they would be destroyed and he killed. Hence the need to record, as accurately as possible, the objective facts witnessed, then to hide the notes in multiple hiding places. Sakowicz is acting as a journalist in the true sense of the word: he sees his own person as unimportant, as one who happened to be put in the position of a witness and whose duty it is to describe what he sees. And it is up to us to think, to understand, and ... to feel. This is a sort of book that precludes passive reading: as readers, we too, need to do some work. And we also need to put ourselves in the writer's shoes: if we do that, and let our imagination guide our empathy, we won't doubt that the last thing Sakowicz was was "unfeeling".
HASH(0xa8522b94) out of 5 stars Chilling and frightening March 19 2014
By LoveHarryPotter - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up with the Holocaust. I would wonder how people could let such things happen but came to realize how those who stood up were killed. Though this man could have done something to help those who were being killed, he made, at cost to his life, a record of what he saw and thus, what could have been considered a lie is truth. He detaches himself from what he saw and to protect his sanity. How would anyone believe such things happen.
HASH(0xa880b588) out of 5 stars Four Stars July 28 2016
By Halina E. Marcinkowski - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
heartbreaking account