Obituary: Helen Spiegel

Obituary: Helen Spiegel

She escaped Germany after Kristallnacht and became an active volunteer in Jewish Atlanta.

Helen Wasserman Spiegel, age 93, of Atlanta died Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Helen was born in Nuremberg, Germany, on July 19, 1923, the daughter of Hans and Selma Wasserman. In 1939, after Kristallnacht in November 1938, her family was able to leave Germany for Boston, where she finished high school. After high school, she went to work in Galveston, Texas, for a family friend. There she met the love of her life, a young soldier who was also a German immigrant, Frank. Frank and Helen married in 1946 and moved to Atlanta to raise their family and begin a career in community service that would last 71 years.

Helen, though short in stature, made a large impact on all who met her. Her activities included being an early supporter of the Hebrew Academy, a founding member of a new young synagogue, Beth El, a chapter and regional president of Hadassah, a board member of the Jewish Home, and an organizer and the guiding light of the Shearith Israel women’s night shelter for 25 years. She was a docent and educator on the Holocaust for the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum. Helen spoke to students around Atlanta, giving them a picture of life as a teenager in Nazi Germany. Helen ran the Olympic torch in 1996 as a tribute to all her services. She was blessed to see her family grow and thrive.

Helen will be remembered by many and is survived by her husband, Frank; daughter and son-in-law Liz and Bobby Goldstein of Atlanta; sons and daughters-in-law Mark and Robin Spiegel of Atlanta and Walter and Sharon Spiegel of Cincinnati; sister Edith Meyers of New Rochelle, N.Y., and sister-in-law Sylvia Spiegel of Atlanta; grandchildren Adam (Kim) Goldstein, Sherri (James) Nighbert, and Jeremy, Shira, Jacob, Elana and Sophie Spiegel; and great-grandchildren Jordan and Reese Goldstein and Taylor and Bryce Nighbert.

Sign the online guestbook at Contributions may be made to Hadassah, 40 Wall St., New York, NY 10268 (; the Shearith Israel women’s night shelter, Rebecca’s Tent, 1180 University Drive, Atlanta, GA 30306 (; or Weinstein Hospice, 3150 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30327 ( A graveside service will be held Sunday, June 11, at 10 a.m. at Crest Lawn Memorial Park with Rabbi Analia Bortz officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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