VOICES >from the BIALYSTOK GHETTO by Michael Nevins
For more than 70 years a diary that was written in Bialystok during
World War II was virtually unnoticed and about to be discarded with
trash when someone looked inside and discerned its historic value. It
was written between 1939 and 1943 by young David Spiro (in Polish Dawid
Szpiro) who probably died during his city's ghetto uprising against the
The diary described life in the city during Russian and then
German governance >from the perspective of an ordinary young man -
certainly not a charismatic leader. As David explained, "If someone
reads my diary in the future, will they be able to believe something
like that? Surely not, they will say poppycock and lies, but this is the
truth, disgusting and terrible; for me it's a reality." With permission
from the current owners, much of David Spiro's poignant first-handaccount is reproduced here along with memoirs written by other
Bialystokers who lived and mostly died during those terrible times.
Michael Nevins is a retired physician and medical historian who has been
studying his family's roots in Dabrowa Bialostocka for many years. In
1982, he published a memorial (Yizkor) book about his family's ancestral
shtetl. This new book was prompted by reading the Dawid Szpiro diary.
I highly recommend this new publication. It is readily available >from
most online book sellers in paper and e-book formats.
Avid Bialystok researcher and volunteer for Bialystok genealogical