The Diary of Renia Spiegel

The Diary of Renia Spiegel

A new educational project by the Galicia Jewish Museum

The diary of Renia Spiegel (1924-1942) was written in Przemyśl, Poland from January 1939 to July 1942. It is an extremely valuable historical source and an unusual memoir of the last years of life of a young, talented, and ambitious woman. Renia’s diary survived the war thanks to her beloved Zygmunt Schwarzer, who brought it to the US and handed it to Renia’s mother and sister, who survived the war. It was published as “Renia’s Diary. A Young Girl’s Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust” a few decades after the Second World War, which was made possible thanks to the determination of Renia Spiegel’s sister and niece – Elizabeth Bellak and Alexandra Bellak.

In order to bring Renia’s diary to a wider audience, especially teenagers in Poland and abroad, the Galicia Jewish Museum in cooperation with the Education and Art Foundation is organizing a project that consists of creating a series of short films and an accompanying education program, the core of which are Renia Spiegel’s writings. Each episode depicts a part of Renia Spiegel’s dramatic story and a wider context of the Second World War and the Holocaust as well as more broad subjects. We are hoping to speak through Renia’s story about universal matters: humanistic values, empathy, human rights, respect, and tolerance as well as the dangers which are caused to these values by xenophobia, exclusion, and persecution.

The films (eight episodes) will be gradually posted on the Galicia Jewish Museum YouTube channel from October 2023. We would like to encourage you to follow the information on the project on Facebook fanpages of the Galicia Jewish Museum and the museum Education Department. We are also hoping that the series will encourage audiences in Poland and abroad to read the book “Renia’s Diary. A Young Girl’s Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust”.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Ms. Elizabeth Bellak
and Ms. Alexandra Bellak, the sister and niece of Renia Spiegel,
for their support, help, and engagement in conducting this project.

The series of the films were created thanks to the cooperation between the Galicia Jewish Museum and the Education and Art Foundation.
The project “The Diary of Renia Spiegel – Digital Storytelling and Education for Human Rights” was made possible with the support from the US Consulate General in Krakow.