Holocaust survivor Fishel dies at 79
The owner of a deli bearing his name fought everyone from criminals to war profiteers for what he thought was right.


July 8, 2006

David Fishel, a Holocaust survivor who lived in Des Moines, died Saturday at the Hospice Kavanagh House in Des Moines of pancreatic cancer. He was 79.

Fishel, who was born in Bedzin, Poland, spent 3 1/2 years in concentration camps before his liberation on April 13, 1945.

Friends and neighbors knew him as the colorful and hard-nosed owner of Fishel’s Deli on Sixth Avenue, which he operated from 1968 to 1975.

Fishel, who worked 10-12 hours per day, was loud, abrupt and ran his business with a forceful manner because Des Moines in the 1960s was turning violent, friends and family said.