The Lioness

The Lioness

By Lancy Spalter

Bluma Grunhut is believed to have been born in Radomysl Wielki in the 1860’s. She moved to nearby Wampierzów when she married Leizer Wolf Spalter. My father-in-law, the youngest of her thirteen sons, remembered her as being tiny but hard working, determined but sweet and loving. During a cholera epidemic around 1915, she lost her husband and a few of her children. Her youngest was 10 by then. The burden of the family sustenance fell on her two shoulders. She worked the orchard and rode to the market to sell the produce without disregarding her home, the children’s education, traditions.

Shortly after her husband died, a neighbor came by to alert her that the local hooligans were expected to break into Jewish homes in a plundering incursion. This time she was alone to defend her own. Right away she set to collect building materials and overnight she built a make-believe chimney large enough to hide her youngest children and protect them from the coming danger. When I heard this story, I envisioned her as a lioness, prepared to do anything to defend her cubs.

Bluma Grunhut Spalter lived long enough to see the German invasion. She did not get the benefit of a dignified death.

See Spalter-Grunhut family photo under "Faces"


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