Lea Prais

An Unknown Chronicle: From the Literary Legacy of Rabbi Shimon Huberband, Warsaw Ghetto, May-June 1942


The article reveals for the first time writings from a chronicle and an unknown chapter from an essay composed by Rabbi Shimon Huberband, one of the prominent activists of the underground "Oneg Shabbat" Archive in the Warsaw Ghetto. These diary excerpts were written in May and June of 1942, the period of dread and terror in the ghetto.

The riveting passages from Huberband's diary and the essay “The Seizure of the Jews in Warsaw in May 1942” presage what was to happen in the Warsaw ghetto later that summer, when hundreds of thousands of its residents were deported to be slaughtered at Treblinka, and hence their importance. In his writings Huberband presents the climate of terror in the ghetto, the acts of abuse and murder perpetrated there in public, the Germans’ methods of action, and the active participation of the Jewish police in the seizure and deportation activity. He also shows the decline of morality exactly as it was.