The Diary Of Helga Deen For iPad, A Rare Dutch Diary Revealed After 60 Years

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Helga Deen, the Last Night“, is a 32-page graphic novel based on a true story, created and directed by the international award-winning director Dario Picciau and writer Roberto Malini.

The Holocaust is an extreme event in human history. The wave of death that Nazism brought with it swept away millions of innocent lives.

Helga Deen was a young Jewish girl of 18 who was deported to the transit camp of Vught and then sent on to the Sobibor camp where there was no possibility of survival.

She knew she was about to die, yet she expressed her pain as the children were transported to Auschwitz and Sobibor, she considered herself a mother to all the Jewish children:

It is too much. I feel a wreck and tomorrow it will happen again. But if my will-power dies, then I too will die. And this is something that must never be forgotten.
– Helga Deen

Created with a team of over 40 artists and the most up to date visual 2D/3D technologies, the story in the graphic novel begins on a midsummer night in the Nazi Vught Transit Camp. The rain falls like tears. The headlamps of the vehicles belonging to the SS light up like soulless eyes…

The Holocaust shattered humanity and civilization itself. This graphic novel relates one of these shards of horror, a sequence of moments taken from millions of individual stories, fragments of  Helga’s last night in the Vught Camp.

We decided to dedicate a graphic novel to Helga Deen for the symbolic and educational value of her story, the story of her last night at Vught, when the german soldiers pulled hundreds of children from the sheds and sent them, in livestock wagons, to the gas chambers in Poland.

Helga Deen, like Anne Frank, has become a symbol of the Jewish girls and women of the Holocaust who in many cases sacrificed their own lives to ease the suffering of the most vulnerable people in the death camps.

Helga’s story is a part of Humane Society’s Heritage and today, more than ever, in a constantly changing world in which human values are being lost, it is important to remember it, in order to understand our present and to contribute to building a just and better future for the next generations”. – Dario Picciau

The Holocaust shattered humanity and civilization itself. This graphic novel relates one of these shards of horror, a sequence of moments taken from millions of individual stories, a fragment of Helga Deen’s last few days…


A Rare Dutch Diary Revealed After 60 Years

Anne Frank wasn’t alone.  A notebook depicts the last days of an 18-year-old girl in an S.S. camp

Helga Deen was in the middle of her final school year when she and her family were deported to the Vaught concentration camp located in the southern part of the Netherlands.

On her arrival at the camp on April 1, 1943, she began writing a diary aimed at documenting her experiences for her Dutch boyfriend, Kees van den Berg, who had remained free.

Helga was only permitted to write letters on the camp’s official stationery, which was then censored. As she refused to share her innermost feelings with the camp wardens Helga decided to write her entries into her school notebook.

The “diary” and five other letters were eventually smuggled out of the camp and reached their destination. Kees sent his replies to the Westerbork transit camp, which was where Helga had written that the family had been transferred. But the letters returned with the stamp “return to sender.

The Deen family hadn’t spent much time at the Westerbork transit camp. Immediately on arrival they had been deported to the Sobibor camp in Poland where Helga, her parents and her 15-year-old brother met their deaths on July 16th, 1943.

Sixty years later, Kees’ son, Conrad van den Brach, contacted the city archive and asked them whether they would like to take a look at the treasure he had received from his father. Along with the diary, Kees also sent a fountain pen and a lock of hair inside an old brown handbag.

On receiving the historic document, archive employee Grit Kobes was beside himself.  “My hair stood on end when I saw the diary,” he said. “It is a unique document.”  The entries were written onto a school notebook, which included 21 pages and several penciled drawings of the camp.

The entries had been written over the course of a single month. Helga didn’t add an entry everyday; there are days with just a few sentences and others that fill one or two pages,” Kobes said.  The entries recount the impressions of a young girl, without mentioning historical events.  According to Kobes, who read the entire diary, the entries portray a sharp, sensitive woman with an invincible will. He said the diary apparently helped ease her despair, her helplessness, and her desire to resume a normal life.

The diary entries describe Helga’s physical and emotional state. She was angered at being turned into a second-class citizen in her own country. She found it difficult to be separated from her boyfriend and friends despite being allowed to walk around the camp, read, write and talk to her family.

Every entry begins with ‘My beloved’ and ends with ‘until we meet again, alluding to her yearning that the terrible ordeal would eventually come to an end,” Kobes said.

She wrote: “My beloved, so far, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I’m sitting in an empty hut on the lower bunk bed, and if I look through the window I can see the pine trees, the blue sky and the pale clouds.”

Kees said he believes that this entry portrays Helga’s optimism. “Perhaps she preferred keeping the truth from her boyfriend,” he said.

Two days later the tone of the entry takes a turn for the worse when she describes the delousing procedure at the camp. On July 2 Helga was summoned to the Phillips factory for a job, which may have saved her life. But the summons came too late. On that same day she was deported to Westerbork transit camp.

Some 1,270 children aged between 0-16 were transferred to Westerbork accompanied by a single parent. Within days they were deported to the Sobibor extermination camp in Poland to join the list of Nazi victims.

In her last entries the drama had become too intense for Helga to describe. Her broken sentences are testimony to the anguish she endured:

“Transfer, that’s too much. I can’t take any more. But I want, I want my happiness,” (the rest of the sentence is illegible). “If my willpower dies, I too will die. This is so I never forget.” Helga wrote.

by Laliv Doron (YnetNews)


To narrate such an important story, White Mouse Publishing and the authors have worked together to apply the impressive visual effects of the Living Comic System Technology, to the 32 pages the graphic novel.

Here are some of the main features:

  • Bring images to life – Just touch any vignette to activate the Living Comic System and bring the images to Life.
  • A living comic book in your hands – 32 breathtaking High Definition pages, 99 stunning artworks digitally created and animated with “Living Comic System® technology”.
  • The sound of comics – Enter deeper into the Story with music and sound effects.
  • Thumbnail navigation – You can flip pages, or access the scrollable thumbnails pages gallery.
  • Zoomable texts – You can change the size of all the text displayed in the app with the Zoom Balloon feature.
  • Easy to use.  Entirely gesture-controlled. – Swipe and tap. No buttons or preferences to set.
  • Live help – Now with “live” help at first launch, Icons will show you how to access the main features.
  • Multilanguage app – English and Italian. Soon more languages.

AppHelga Deen by White Mouse Publishing

Compatible: iPad only
Category: Books
Released: September 09, 2011
Publisher:  @ White Mouse Publishing, Dario Picciau, Roberto Malini
Price: $2.99 (buy app)




For further information visit White Mouse Publishing website -> here

To see trailer click -> here
For more images click -> here


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