A New and Interesting Book about the Bialystok Ghetto

Mark Halpern

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 Nazis. 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-hand account 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.

Mark Halpern
Avid Bialystok researcher and volunteer for Bialystok genealogical projects