Hidden for 40 years: Renia Spiegel’s second World War diary

For decades, Elizabeth could not bring herself to read the diary of her late sister

Renia’s diary

Renia’s diary

“You will help me, Bulus and God.” On July 25th, 1942, 18-year-old Renia Spiegel closed out her diary entry with this line; a mantra-like sentence she had written at the end of countless diary entries over three years. Bulus was a pet name for her mother, Roza, whom she had been separated from for more than two years by then.

Five days after she wrote this final diary entry, Renia Spiegel was dead. She was shot by the Nazis who had discovered her in hiding alongside her boyfriend’s parents: he had endeavored to save them all, but someone had betrayed their attic hiding place in the Przemysl Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland.

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