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This biographical story takes place within the Jewish community of Budejovice, a town in the former Czechoslovakia, during the Nazi occupation. Children were not allowed to play in parks or visit the cinema; adults were forbidden to work; food was scarce. Ruda Stadler, a teenager and visionary at the time, thought of starting a newspaper and encouraged the other children to write stories, poems and jokes. While the newspaper began as a source of entertainment, it became a lifeline for the whole Jewish community, and inspired hope where there was little to be found.
The story chronicles the lives of the various children who contributed to the newspaper, through the memories of two who survived the death camps, John Freund and Irena Stadler. Though misery permeated their lives, they also had some happy moments: John was able to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah with his family while in the concentration camp, Theresienstadt, before they were sent to Auschwitz; Irena got married in the camp and remained there with her husband until they were freed after the war. Sadly, Ruda Stadler was shot to death in Auschwitz for refusing to give up his warm coat. He fought for his rights till the end.
Remarkably, the newspaper entitled Klepy (which means "Gossip") survived the war and is now on display at the Jewish Museum in Prague.