A gracious lady, dutiful daughter and wife, loving mother and grandmother
Dr Eva Spiers (PhD) was Simon Bloomberg‘s last surviving child. His biography Life After Belsen is her tribute to her father’s heroic efforts to help displaced Jewish and Polish people after World War 2.
Eva passed away in Australia in Sunday 7th December aged 85. She had been unwell for a few months. She was hospitalised about four weeks ago and then in palliative care for three weeks but slipped away in her sleep. Her funeral was held on Friday 13th December.
The youngest daughter of Simon and Alice Bloomberg, Eva was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1934. She was the sister of Bill, Marion, Norah and Harry. During World War 2 her mother sought refuge for the family in a cottage in Wales. As her sister Norah said, “I never realised then, that as half-Jews we’d have faced the same fate as our European kinsfolk if Hitler had got to England.”
Starting primary school, Eva’s lessons were in Welsh which may have given her a love of languages. She later studied French and Spanish; received a PhD degree from Bristol University and worked as a teacher of French and Spanish. She married Roger Spiers and the couple had three children which they brought up in London.
Eva spent the last years of her life in Australia and is survived by her sons Alistair and James who live in Australia and Charlotte who lives in England, and her grandchildren.
Eva called her father “one of Great Britain’s unsung heroes,” and it was very important to her that his story be told before she passed away. Though in her 80’s she was undaunted about spearheading the Life After Belsen book project giving interviews to journalist, Al Gibson and proof reaching the manuscript.
‘Leave a legacy’ – Eva Spiers
As Eva wrote in her foreword to Life After Belsen,
“Now in my eighties myself, as I look back on all my father accomplished I realise how important it is to leave a legacy to coming generations that will challenge them in the years that lie ahead. In a world where tragically people are still displaced and refugees are more numerous than ever, my father’s example is a timeless reminder to forsake racism, persecution, and genocide and be a better neighbour wherever we find ourselves.”
Rest in peace Eva.
“To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted.” (Isaiah 61:3)