Warsaw partisan fought in 2 uprisings
WARSAW — Boruch Spiegel, one of the last remaining survivors of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising by poorly armed Jewish insurgents against the powerful Nazi German force that occupied Poland, has died. He was 93.
Spiegel died May 9 in Montreal, his son, Julius Spiegel, said Tuesday.
With Spiegel's death, the tiny group of survivors of the legendary World War II revolt that was crushed 70 years ago this month grows even smaller.
Spiegel was one of about 750 Jewish fighters who on April 19, 1943, started an uprising that took the Germans off guard. The fighters were overwhelmingly outnumbered and outgunned and the revolt never had a real chance of victory, but the fighters still managed to hold out for a month, longer than some countries invaded by Hitler.
Ultimately, though, the German revenge was brutal and involved burning the Warsaw ghetto down building by building. A few dozen of the Jewish fighters survived by escaping the ghetto through underground sewage canals to reach the so-called “Aryan side” of the Polish capital. Spiegel and his future wife Chaika Belchatowska were among them. Others were sent to camps, where most died.
After surviving the ghetto uprising, Spiegel and his future wife joined the Polish partisans and took part in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, a larger city-wide revolt against the occupying Germans.
Havi Dreifuss, a historian and Holocaust expert with Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem-based Holocaust research institution and museum, warned against trying to put a number on how many fighters remain. Dreifuss said it's sometimes hard to distinguish fighters from other resisters, who were entrenched in hiding places and refused to obey Nazi orders to show up for transportations to labor or concentration camps, and that an appreciation has grown over time for their resistance during the uprising.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Vanilla Mike too polite on officiating
- Cubs’ 3-run, 9th-inning rally upends Pirates
- Fleury’s performances have Penguins still believing vs. Rangers
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- Super-agent Boras says Pirates will have opportunity to re-sign Alvarez, Cole
- Penguins seek way to improve line changes
- Penguins Insider: Series has enough gamesmanship
- $3.5M glass sculpture’s story begins, ends in rural community of Dunbar
- Pittsburgh union serving TV, film production looking for lots of help
- Steelers open daunting season at Patriots, play 5 prime-time games
- Alle-Kiski roundup: Freeport baseball team downs 1st-place Deer Lakes