Whenever we hear about diary entries and the Nazi occupation, the first thing that comes to mind is Anne Frank and her diary, as almost everyone has heard of it. Unknown to many, during that same time, there was another girl who was also writing her diary entry during World War II, as she witnessed the daily atrocities around her and described her day-to-day life, love life, and everything in between. Her name was Renia Spiegel, and her diary tells us her the Nazi occupation through her eyes.

Beginning of their Lives

Renia Speigel was born on June 18, 1924, in a family comfortably living in Uhryńkowce in Tarnopol province, Poland. She had one sister, Ariana, who was a child celebrity and had performed in the famous stage of “Cyrulik Warszawski” and appeared in some films before the war. People would usually compare Ariana to Hollywood child star Shirley Temple. The girls’ parents were already separated, and they were sent to live with their grandparents, who owned a stationery store in Przemyśl. She was fifteen at that time, while Ariana was nine.

Renia Spiegel. (reniaspiegelfoundation.org)

Her sister would soon move to Warsaw with their mother so she could pursue her career. At the end of the summer, Ariana was visiting her when the war broke out. They fled the bombardment of Przemysl on foot, but when they returned, the town was already under Soviet occupation.

Two years later, Renia wrote in her diary how she had her first kiss with a Jewish boy named Zygmunt Schwarzer, the son of a doctor and a concert pianist. The two had a friend named Maciek Tuchman, and the three became inseparable.