The Arty Semite

Holocaust Archive To Be Commemorated in Warsaw

By JTA

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A monument commemorating the Ringelblum Archive will be built on Nowolipki Street in Warsaw, where it was hidden during the war.

Courtesy United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Archivists at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw sort through the contents of the Ringelblum archive, retrieved from two milk cans discovered in 1946 and 1950 in the ruins of buildings in the former ghetto.

Emanuel Ringelblum led a secret operation code-named Oyneg Shabbos while living in the Warsaw Ghetto, in the basement of the building at 68 Nowolipki St., between August 1942 and February 1943. Ringelblum, along with other Jewish writers, scientists and neighbors, gathered newspapers, leaflets, posters, photos, drawings, notes, diaries and literary works that documented the extermination of the Jews.

The 25,000-document archive buried in metal boxes and milk cans was taken from the ruins of the ghetto in 1946 and 1955. In 1999, UNESCO placed the Ringelblum Archive on its list of the most important documents of humanity.

Jacek Leociak, assistant professor at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, originated the idea of commemorating the hiding place of the archive. The monument will consist of a pit with a glass box containing a copy of one of the documents from the archive placed inside, symbolizing the basement.

The project was created in 2010 but its implementation has just begun. The organization and financing of the monument is under the auspices of the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites. The unveiling of the monument will take place on September 18, the anniversary of finding in the basement the first part of the Ringelblum Archive.


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