Language of Description
1851 - 2022
Level of Description
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

Env. 0.9 metres of textual records. - 292 photographs.

Biographical History

Beverly Spanier was born in 1945 in Hartford, Connecticut. She graduated from McGill University in Honors Economics and Political Science in 1967. She was a high school teacher in Montreal, Quebec from 1969 to 1997, and was involved with religious programming at the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue in Westmount, Quebec. Beverly is a long-time patient-rights advocate and has been outspoken on behalf of patients in long-term and chronic care during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially at Maimonides Geriatric Centre. In 2021, she was honoured by MNA David Birnbaum for her activism and received the D’Arcy-McGee National Assembly Citizenship Medal. Family members highlighted in the collection are her brother, the late Allen Spanier — formerly a McGill professor of medicine, surgeon, researcher, and Director of Intensive Care Unit at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal — and her late father Albert, formerly a businessman in textiles and a synagogue leader. Albert Spanier was born on January 4, 1914 in Enger, Germany and was one of four children born to Amalia and Adolph. Albert, Gertrude, Irwin and Werner were raised in Enger in the largest home in the town. In 1938 the family fled Nazi Germany to scatter abroad and eventually reunite in Hartford, Connecticut where they were all members of Tikvoh Chadoshah Synagogue. Albert Spanier died on November 17, 1995 while living in West Hartford Connecticut. Dr. Allen Spanier died on April 27th, 1999 in Montreal at the age of 52. Allen and Beverly's mother Sybil, the first wife of Albert, passed away in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in July 8th 2002.


Part of this collection was transferred from the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, at the request of the donor, Beverly Spanier. Several additions to the collection were made after the initial transfer in 1994.

Scope and Content

Photos and family documents pre- and post-Nazi regime. Information concerning founding of German-Jewish refugee congregation - Hartford, Connecticut. Letter signed in 1947 by Eleanor Roosevelt asking for funds for war orphans. Personal history of Spanier family written by Albert Spanier prior to his death in November of 1996. German-language newspaper published on May 12, 1939, in Paris listing Spanier members as non-citizens of Germany - "ausburgerrungsliste." Material on internment camps for German Jews in Canada 1941-1944 (Montreal Standard clipping), photocopies from Netherlands embassy about refused entry at port of Poole, also list of names from family prayer book.Addition 2004: 165 photos, colour and black and white, of Spanier family including Germany, including a housefront/ storefront boarded after Kristalnacht, also family in USA and Canada and Beverly Spanier teaching career and friends. Also 1 cm. Beverly career documents.Addition 2009: Macdonald College Faculty of Education McGill University Class of 1969 history booklet written by B. Spanier for the 40th Reunion. List of volunteer work of B. Spanier. Addition 2010: 80th birthday biographical tribute to Miriam Roland Additions 2011-2022: McGill University Class of ’67 Arts and Science 45th Reunion Booklet, compiled by and edited by B. Spanier. Obituary of B. Spanier’s second cousin, John Winston Spanier. Newspaper clippings from 2013-2021 concerning the patient advocacy work and activities of B. Spanier, including during the COVID-19 pandemic and upon her receiving the D’Arcy-McGee National Assembly Citizenship Medal in 2021. B. Spanier autobiography ‘Reflections on my Life’ April 1, 2014 (91 pp. approx. 95 images; also includes digital copy). Material relating to B. Spanier’s 69th and 70th birthdays. Booklets written by B. Spanier including ‘Tears, Suffering and the Helping Hand’ 2016 (20 pp. incl. 11 images of original art by B. Spanier) and ‘A Patient’s View of Covid-19 From Inside a Quebec Chronic-Care Facility’ April 3, 2021, (22 pp, 8 images incl. of original art by B. Spanier). 75th birthday biographical tribute to Lloyd Brereton (2022) and 70th birthday biographical tribute to Panaiota Zaphiratos (2022).


  • Alpha-numeric designations: P94/10 +adds. P98/03+adds. P14/05+adds. P15/17+adds. P16/08+adds.General note: Mostly originals, incl. photographs.

This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.