Albumas su priklijuotais Hermano Kruko dienoraščio puslapiais, 1941-1943

  • Album with fragments from Herman Kruk diary, 1941-1943
VŽM 4671
Language of Description
1941 - 1943
Level of Description
  • Yiddish
  • Hebrew


Biographical History

Herman Kruk (Yiddish: הערשל קרוק‎) was a Polish-Jewish librarian and Bundist activist who kept a diary recording his experiences in the Vilna Ghetto during World War II. Kruk fled Warsaw and relocated to Vilna at the outbreak of the Invasion of Poland.While confined to the Vilna Ghetto, he organized and oversaw the creation and operation of a library in the Ghetto.He also played an active role in several of the ghetto's social welfare and cultural organizations. Kruk continued chronicling his experiences after he was transferred to the Klooga concentration camp. The last entry was made on September 17, 1944, when he buried his diaries inside the camp at KZ Lagedi in Estonia.

Archival History

The three copies of the Ghetto Chronicle were hidden by Kruk in different places. One was given to a Polish priest who was believed to have been murdered by the Germans. One remained in the library and the third he buried in a metal container. In months of labor after the liberation of the liquidated ghetto by the Soviet Union, the poet Abraham Sutzkever was able to collect the individual pages from the opened container and bring them to safety in Moscow. A complete publication of all pages found in the chronicle and diary of Herman Kruk is available in English. Some of the records from outside the ghetto have been lost. Only fragments have survived. These notes were kept in the post-war Vilnius Jewish Museum from 1944 to 1949, and after its closure, they were transferred to the Central State Archive of Lithuania (LCVA FR 1390 ap. 1 b. 58-73). In 1998, the documents were returned to the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum.


From Lithuanian Central State Archives (LCVA FR 1390 ap.1 b.59)

Scope and Content

Pages from the second copy which remained in Vilnius ghetto library. The diary was dictated by Kruk to his secretary Rokhl Mendelsund-Kowarski. Herman Kruk recorded his own experiences as well as the life and death of the Jewish community of Vilnius in a chronical manner.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

typescript, damaged

Publication Note Herman Kruk, The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania: Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the Camps, 1939-1944, Yale University Press, 2002.

Archivist Note

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

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0