Voices from the Warsaw Ghetto
David Roskies, Antony Polonsky
Chair: Trudy Gold
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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.
In partnership with the National Library of Israel
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, and is the author of Against the Apocalypse: Responses to Catastrophe in Modern Jewish Culture, which was awarded the Ralph Waldo Prize from Phi Beta Kappa.
Antony Polonsky is emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw. His most recent work is The Jews in Poland and Russia volume 1, 1350 to 1881; volume 2 1881 to 1914; volume 3, 1914 to 2008, published in 2013 in an abridged version The Jews in Poland and Russia. A Short History. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Warsaw and the Jagiellonian University.
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.