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Emanuel Ringelblum: The Oneg Shabbat Underground Archive in the Warsaw Ghetto

“We Would Like to Tell You Briefly of Our Undertaking, Which Closely Binds Us to You”


In September 1939, Nazi Germany conquered Poland. Shortly after, historian Emanuel Ringelblum began chronicling the events overtaking the Jews of Warsaw and the surrounding areas under Nazi control. Once the Jews were forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, Ringelblum decided to found the clandestine Oneg Shabbat (“Joy of the Sabbath”) Archive. He assembled a group of documenters of different backgrounds, with the intention of chronicling the events as they transpired at all levels of Jewish society. He had the archive buried under the ground of the Warsaw ghetto in metal boxes and milk cans, in three separate places. After the war, two caches of the archive were discovered in 1946 and 1950; the third cache was never found. The Oneg Shabbat Archive remains the largest collection of Jewish documentation detailing the fate of the Jews under Nazi rule.

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    Archival footage, photographs and documents:
    - Yad Vashem Archives
    - Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw
    - The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Music (Beeld en Geluid)
    - Agentur Karl Höffkes
    - Footage of the discovery of the Oneg Shabbat underground archive from "Mir Leben Geblibene - We the Living Remnant" (Poland, 1947), courtesy of Natan and Ya'akov Gross
    - Ghetto Fighters' House Archives, Israel
    - Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    - Bundesfilmarchiv/Transit Film GmbH
    - Footage of Rudolf Bohlmann used with the kind permission of Eginhard Teichmann

    - Samuel D. Kassow, Who Will Write Our History? : Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto, Indiana University Press, 2009, pp. 142, 154, 190, 253.
    - Emanuel Ringelblum, Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto: The Journal of Emmanuel Ringelblum, trans. Jacob Sloan, New York: Ibooks, 2006, p. 86.
    - Abraham Lewin, A Cup of Tears: A Diary of the Warsaw Ghetto, ed. Antony Polonsky, trans. Christopher Hutton, (New York, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988, pp. 183-4.

    Every effort has been made to locate the copyright holders to obtain the appropriate permissions and apply the correct attributions. If you have any information that would help us in relation to copyright, please contact us

    Supervising Director: Mika Orr
    Producer: Gili Nadav
    Director: Ayelet Cohen
    Editor: Ekaterina Diakova
    Illustrations: Dotan Goldwaser
    Animation: Yoav Brill
    Production Design & After Effects: Ohad Elimelech
    Sound Editor: Itai Matos
    Online Editor: Dima Lydkhov
    Narrator: Derek Shetterly
    Produced by Mikooka Productions