Zeligo Kalmanovičiaus dienoraščio dalis, rašyta Vilniaus gete 1942-05-16 – 1942-07-19

  • Zelig Kalmanovich, Diary, Vilna Ghetto, 1942-05-16 – 1942-07-19
VŽM 4523
Language of Description
16 May 1942 - 19 Jul 1942
Level of Description
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Hebrew
  • Latin

Extent and Medium

Notebook, 107 pages


Biographical History

KALMANOVITCH, ZELIG (1881–1944), Yiddish writer, philologist, and translator. Born in Goldingen, Latvia, in 1929, he settled in Vilna, where he joined the YIVO Institute and became editor of its journal YIVO Bleter. Kalmanovitch published studies on Yiddish philology, the influence of Hebrew on Yiddish syntax (1906, 1907), and on the Yiddish dialect spoken in Courland (1926). He translated into Yiddish Josephus' Jewish Wars (1914), Dubnow's History of the Jews (1909–10), and H.G. Wells' Outline of History (1930). During the Nazi occupation he was forced to select the books to be shipped to Germany. In the Vilna ghetto Kalmanovitch kept a diary in Hebrew. With the liquidation of the Vilna ghetto in September 1943, he was deported to an extermination camp in Estonia where he died the following winter.

Archival History

After the liquidation of the Vilnius ghetto, the citizens used the documents found in the territory of the ghetto for the furnaces of home stoves. In 1945, the surviving Jews discovered the remains of documents hidden in the Vilnius ghetto, including the Kalmanovičius diary. After the war, most of the diary was sent to YIVO in New York, the rest remained in Lithuania.


1944–1949 The diary was kept in the post-war Vilnius Jewish Museum. After its closure transferred to the Central State Archive of Lithuania (LCVA FR-1390 ap. 1 b. 25). In 1998 returned to the Vilnius Gaon State Jewish Museum.

Scope and Content

Zeligas Kalmanovičius' diary is one of the most famous documents testifying to the tragedy of the Vilnius ghetto. Kalmanovich wrote the diary in Hebrew with several inserts in German. The blog is enriched with biblical and rabbinical quotes. Some of them are accurate, others are paraphrased and intertwined in the style of the author. It is written in a spirit of resignation; he expresses the hope that, by carrying out the orders of the Nazis, some lives might be spared.


When the diary first got into VGMJH it was severely dilapidated, the covers and leaflets of the booklet were deformed, torn, perforated, the ink was difficult to read in some places, faded, spilled. In 2011 diary was restored by consolidating the paper and restoring the lost fragments.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Handwritten, 14,2 x 7,5 cm

Publication Note

Kalmanovitch, Zelig. Yoman be-Getto Vilna u-Ketavim me-ha-Izavon she-Nimze’u ba-Harisot ("A Diary from the Ghetto in Nazi Vilna"). Tel Aviv, 1977.

Archivist Note

Entry written by Sarune Sedereviciute based on survey and information provided by Inventory and Conservation of Holdings Unit.


  • Aistė Niunkaitė Račiūnienė, Ilona Murauskaitė

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0