An Evening In POLIN

POLIN - Museum of the History of the Polish Jews will be honoring the works and poems of Renia Spiegel with a special presentation of her WWII diary on Monday, September 11th, 6pm.

Ariana Spiegel, Renia’s sister will be present.

Historian Dr. Tomasz Pudłocki of the Institute of History at Jagiellonian University will give a lecture on the history of Przemyśl during the Nazi and Soviet occupations.

Prof. Anna Nasiłowska of the Institute of Literary Research of Polish Academy of Sciences will speak on the literary merit of Renia Spiegel‘s prose and poetry.

Excerpts from a documentary film about the Spiegel sisters by Tomasz Magierski "Przemyśl - Broken Dreams" will be presented during the event.

Ariana Elżbieta Bellak will be available to answer questions and sign copies of Renia’s book.

Renia started her diary in January 1939 when she was 15 and living with her grandparents in Przemyśl, Poland. Her diary mainly describes her loneliness living in war-torn Poland without a mother, her first love, and everyday life during the Soviet and then German occupations. The diary describes her fears and terror during the creation of the ghetto in Przemyśl. She writes of the humiliation she experiences firsthand and heinous acts witnessed on the streets of Przemyśl. She writes up until the last day of her short life. She is shot on the street of Przemyśl shortly after her 18th birthday.  “Renia’s diary presents a powerful insight into the life of a young woman, whose life was tragically cut short. There is incredible maturity in her observations and insights. Her account of her personal life is poignant, heart breaking, and often amusing with her expression of adolescent infatuation exposing the raw emotion of a teenager. This powerful diary is not only a primary historical source of the Holocaust, but also a true and outstanding work of literature." - Prof. Anna Frajlich, Columbia University. Renia Spiegel’s younger sister, Ariana, Elżbieta Bellak was a child prodigy and was named by the press "The Polish Shirley Temple". At the age of 8, she performed on the stage of "Cyrulik Warszawski Theater" in Warsaw playing piano, singing and reciting poems by the renown Polish poets, Tuwim and Brzechwa. She appeared in the movies, among them "Gehenna" by Michał Waszyński.