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Transcript of Regina Spiegel
Germans Invade Poland
Escape and Liberation
After Her Survival
The Jewish Ghetto
How This Affected Me
Regina Spiegal, a survivor of the holocaust, was born on May 12, 1926, in Poland. Her family consisted of her mother, father, three sisters and two brothers; her father worked as a leather cutter, and her mom remained at home to take care of the six children. She was one of the few children that had a moderately nice childhood having a loving family, great friends and attending school. However, when Germans invaded her country, she was forced to stubble out of childhood rather quickly.
German's invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, when Regina was only thirteen years old. All of the Jews were ordered to give up everything of value and wear an armband with the Star of David to identify them as Jews. Jewish children were not allowed to go to school so they were secretly taught to read and write in cellars. For he, this is when her life changed.
In 1940, Regina and her family were forced into a Jewish ghetto. With atrocious conditions, the ghetto did not provide them with nearly enough food, and disease was spreading rapidly. After a while, the conditions got unbearable. and her parent decided to smuggle Regina out of the ghetto to go live with her sister in Pionki.
With false papers saying she was 16, she worked cleaning windows in the local labor camp.
In 1944, Regina was deported to Auschwitzs, and she stayed there for about six weeks before transferring to Baumlitz and being forced to clean Panzerfauste. After a short while, she was then deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she went without food or water for days at a time. After remaining there for two weeks, she was finally transferred Elsnig to work in a munition factory.
In 1945, Regina and the other girls at the concentration camp escaped by jumping off of a train headed to Dachau, a Jewish killing center, and running into the woods. She was liberated by the Soviet Army on April 20th of the same year.
After escaping and being liberated, Regina went to try and find her family, but soon found out that they had all been taken to the Treblinka Killing Center. She reunited with a man, Sam Spiegel, that she had met in her first labor camp. They were married and not too much time later they were settled in the U.S. in 1947. They had three children and nine grandchildren and lived out the rest of their days in peace.
This project affected me to no end. Along with the ups and downs of Regina's story, in her interview I could hear her voice give off a sense of all the torturous years she's endured. I can't know for sure how it actually felt to be chained to your own life, but Regina's words were half of the process. Learning about these survivors has shed a whole new light on my life. Furthermore, understanding the holocaust is one thing, but living through it is another. I admire all of their bravery, chivalry and luck that it required to manage to stay alive in the midst of one of the most gory epidemics our world has ever seen,