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‘What we were unable to cry and shriek out to the world we buried in the ground.’ David Graber, aged 17, the Warsaw Ghetto
In 1940 the historian Emanuel Ringelblum established a clandestine organization, the Oyneg Shabes, within the Warsaw ghetto to document Jewish life, compiling an archive – ranging from reportage to jokes, from artwork to poems.
The project lasted until the ghetto was obliterated by the Nazis in May 1943. Ringelblum perished in 1944. But before he died, he managed to hide thousands of documents.
These works uniquely record ‘a civilization responding to its own destruction’ from the perspective of its first interpreters, the victims, capturing in real time the heroism, tragedy, and dark humour of the ghetto.
Trudy Gold is director of Holocaust Studies at JW3 and former chief executive of the LJCC. She is the editor in chief of Understanding the Holocaust.
David G. Roskies is the Sol and Evelyn Henkind Chair in Yiddish Literature and Culture and professor of Jewish literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Antony Polonsky is emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw.
In partnership with the National Library of Israel.