Janina David

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Janina Dawidowicz (born 19 March 1930 in Kalisz, Poland),[1] better known as Janina David, is a Holocaust survivor and a British writer and translator.


Janina David was born as the only child to a Jewish Polish family, and moved with them to Warsaw in 1939.[2] After she escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943,[3] taking refuge with a German-Polish family and then in a convent,[2] and her parents had died as victims of the holocaust, she left Poland in 1946 and moved to Paris with an uncle.[1] She then emigrated to Australia where she completed school and studied at the University of Melbourne, gaining a B.A.. She then took Australian citizenship.[1] In 1958, she moved to London, where she was a social worker in some hospitals. In 1959 she began to write her three-volume autobiography, A Square of Sky, A Touch of Earth and Light over the Water.[1][3] Since 1978, she has been working as an author and translator of children's and young people's books, and of radio plays, for the BBC and others.


  • 1964 A Square of Sky: A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Poland
  • 1966 A Touch of Earth: A Wartime Childhood
  • 1995 Light Over the Water: Post-war Wanderings 1946-48 ISBN 978-0-903431-14-9
  • 1969 Part of the Main ISBN 978-0-09-096040-8
  • 1992 A Square of Sky: A Wartime Childhood from Ghetto to Convent (a republication A Square of Sky and A Touch of Earth in a single volume) ISBN 978-0-907871-73-6


Franz Peter Wirth filmed Leo Lehmann's adaptation of the book A Square of Sky as the 1982 mini-series Ein Stück Himmel for the ARD and the leading actress Dana Vávrová became popular in Germany in the role of Janina David.


Janina David's autobiography A Square of Sky was the basis for a theatre show with the same title.[4]



  1. ^ a b c d "Janina David". Munzinger-Archiv. 1983-09-26. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  2. ^ a b Moorehead, Caroline (1993-01-07). "Book Review / Semolina with fear: A Square of sky - Janina David: Eland; pounds 8.99". The Independent. Independent News and Media. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  3. ^ a b "19.3.1930: Janina David". Today in History. DW. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  4. ^ Gardner, Lyn (2002-09-20). "A Square of Sky". The Guardian - Theatre. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 

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