Nordic Literary Salon Online: Ruth Maier’s diary

In March, the salon is going to introduce Kateřina Krištůfková, the translator from Norwegian. The topic of the debate is going to be the book Ruth Maier’s Diary: A Young Girl’s Life Under Nazism, which has been put together (from diaries and letters of a Jewish girl who died in Auschwitz) and edited by a famous Norwegian poet Jan Erik Vold. Between March and May 2021, a special exhibition will be opened in Brno, to commemorate the publishing of the book in Czech.

The debate is going to be streamed on our Facebook page on Thursday 11th of March 2021 from 8 pm, later it is going to be available on our Youtube channel, too.

In Czech.

Free admission, no reservation needed.

Ruth Maier’s Diary: A Young Girl’s Life Under Nazism (ed. Jan Erik Vold) has been composed of the writings of a girl that was born in 1920 in Vienna into an assimilated Jewish family. Her father was from Žarošice in Moravia, where Ruth and her sister Judith would spend summer holidays with their family. In July 1936, Ruth wrote in her diary: “We are in Žarošice now. It is so beautiful here. I like Žarošice more than I like Vienna. I feel more at home here. I will write now. I have to watch now. And absorb all the beauty, so I can live from it after I go back to school. Like a camel can live from its fat reserves.” Ruth flees to Norway after the so-called Crystal Night that happened right before her 18th birthday. On the 26th of November 1942, she is taken and sent to Auschwitz. She started writing her diary as a twelve-year-old, and part of her writings was hidden for fifty years by her good Norwegian friend, Gunvor Hofmo. Ruth’s sister Judith kept two early diaries and letter that Ruth sent from Norway. From these documents, Jan Erik Vold put together a story whose fame soon spread out of Norway. In 2014, it became a part of UNESCO heritage: “Memory of the World”. The Czech translation by Kateřina Krištůfková was published in 2021 by the publishing house Edika.

Kateřina Krištůfková studied German and Norwegian at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk’s University in Brno. She works as a translator, editor and proofreader. Although her first translated book was from German, Kateřina Krištůfková later started translating mostly from Norwegian and has translated more forty books from this language so far. She has translated the works by crime authors (Jo Nesbø, Jørn Lier Horst, Marit Reiersgård), but also Erlend Loe, Gaute Heivoll or Tore Renberg. She has also translated several books for children, which, according to her, are the biggest challenge. She cooperates with the publishing houses Kniha Zlín, Host and Academia. She is the chairwoman of the Czech translators of the North and in cooperation with her colleagues runs a small publishing house Elg that is focused on the forgotten moments of the Scandinavian culture in the Czech context. On occasion, she publishes her literary reviews on

The partner of the event are the Czech translators of the North – an organisation uniting the translators from the Nordic languages in the Czech Republic. The event is a part of a year-long project of the Scandinavian House: “Nordic literature in the heart of Europe 2021”, which has been supported by Prague municipality.  

The event is organised by the Scandinavian House as a part of its literary project.