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About This Event

Time: November 8, 2018, 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m. EST

Ticket: Free, Registration Required

Location: US Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024
United States

Co-presented with:

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  • Family photo of Renia Spiegel, 1936. Courtesy of the Spiegel family
  • Family photo of Renia Spiegel, 1936. Courtesy of the Spiegel family


Eighty years after Kristallnacht, we reflect on the repercussions of this dangerous turning point in Holocaust history using the vivid observations of young diarists. Their accounts reveal the escalating persecution against Jews that followed the warning signs of Kristallnacht.

Although Anne Frank is the most well-known victim of the Holocaust, she was not the only young Jewish girl who left a powerful record behind. Smithsonian magazine recently translated the diary of Renia Spiegel, a 17-year-old girl who spent her final days imprisoned in a ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Join us as we learn about Renia’s dramatic story, which ranges from romance to terror. Her sister, Elizabeth Bellak, known as “the Shirley Temple of Poland,” will give her own firsthand account of Renia’s plight and legacy. We’ll also hear from Alexandra Zapruder, an expert on wartime diaries, which continue to be written by young people to this day.

Read “The Unforgotten: New Voices of the Holocaust,” a Smithsonian feature about diarists during the Holocaust, including Renia Spiegel.

Alexandra Bellak, Niece of diarist Renia Spiegel
Elizabeth Bellak, Sister of diarist Renia Spiegel
Alexandra Zapruder, Author of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust and Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film; currently guest curator for And Still I Write: Young Diarists on War and Genocide opening spring 2020 at Holocaust Museum Houston

Ron Coleman, Acting Chief Archivist, US Holocaust Memorial Museum