Warsaw Home Page
Warsaw Stories Menu
Warsaw Stories
Chaike Belchatowska Spiegel

Chaike Belchatowska Spiegel

AP Worldstream
Article date:
April 9, 2002

Dateline: MONTREAL Chaike Belchatowska Spiegel, who fought the Nazis in her native Poland and was one of the last survivors of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising, has died after a lengthy illness, her family said.

Spiegel died in Montreal on March 26 at age 81 after being hospitalized for almost two years due to strokes, according to her family.

As a young woman in Nazi-occupied Poland, Spiegel opposed the Nazi deportation of Jews and distributed newspapers in the Warsaw ghetto. She joined the Jewish underground and fought in the ghetto uprising that began in April 1943, said Marek Edelman, the last living leader of the uprising, from Lodz in central Poland.

"She was very pretty, a nice and kind person," Edelman said Monday, adding that he knows of no more than six survivors of the ghetto uprising who are still alive.

Spiegel and her future husband, Boruch Spiegel, were among about 50 Jewish resistance fighters who escaped the final Nazi assault on the Warsaw ghetto in May 1943.

In a 1993 interview on the 50th anniversary of the uprising, Spiegel told the Montreal Gazette that the war experience remained a major part of her life.

"Whenever we start a conversation _ it can be about the weather _ we always end up talking about the years over there. Without fail, " she was quoted as saying. "I remember everything. It's so in my mind, so vivid in my memory. Sometimes I dream about it. You can't get rid of all the thoughts."

Spiegel is survived by her husband, a son and daughter, and four grandchildren.