Podziemne Archiwum Getta Warszawskiego

  • Archiwum Ringelbluma
  • Konspiracyjne Archiwum Getta Warszawy
  • Oneg Szabat (cryptonime)
  • Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto: the Ringelblum Archives
Identifier
ARG
Language of Description
English
Dates
1940 - 1943
Level of Description
Collection
Languages
  • English
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Yiddish
  • German
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Romanian
  • Ukrainian
  • Italian
Scripts
  • Cyrillic
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
Source
EHRI

Extent and Medium

2063 files

Biographical History

The first efforts towards creating an underground archive were undertaken as early as in May 1940, but work got underway in earnest in November of that year, after the ghetto was finally sealed, which took place on 15 November 1940. The mission of Oneg Shabat (OSh) was to document, day by day, the events in the ghettos in the Polish lands, in particular in Warsaw, by writing down eye-witness testimonies of Jews while they were still fresh. OSh also collected materials such as German public announcements (alternatively they copied out their wording), documents from Jewish Councils, correspondence of welfare organizations (ŻSS, Joint), underground and so-called reptilian press items, posters, documents testifying to the everyday life of the community (e.g. food ration cards, tram tickets, sweet wrappers), letters, Kennkarten, ordinances related to forced labour, legacies and papers of particular individuals, scientific studies and drafts thereof, radio bulletins, reports for Polish underground organizations, and proclamations by underground organizations (e.g. ŻOB, the Jewish Combat Organization). Among the most important of these documents is a collection of the ghetto underground press (around 40 titles), diaries written on a regular basis by various people, drawings (e.g. those by Gela Seksztajn), and photographs. The majority of the documents are in manuscript form, some of them copied out several times. The dominant languages are Polish and Yiddish, though some of the documents were also recorded in Hebrew, some of the official materials are in German, and there are sporadic items in English, French, Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian and Italian. The ARG documentation is unique in every respect, and crucial to study of the history of the Holocaust in the GG and the former eastern borderlands of Poland known as the Kresy.

The members of OSh tried to make use of the materials they gathered in their own research and to record the history of the Holocaust as it happened. A range of research methods were used, including sociological and psychological methods, and this in part determined the selection of the materials to be gathered, which were not restricted to official documentation – the value of personal documents and the words of individuals were recognized. The OSh group encouraged people to keep journals, schoolchildren to write essays and other texts on current affairs, and those resettled from other places to write down their accounts of the fates of Jews in the small towns from which they came. OSh comprised several dozen people with strong personalities. Its secretary was Hersz Wasser – the only member of the organization who survived and knew where the archive was hidden, so enabling him to help excavate the documents from beneath the ruins of the ghetto. In the ghetto he also worked as the ŻSS secretary delegated to the Centralna Komisja Przesiedleńcza (Central Resettlement Committee).

Wasser’s deputy in OSh was Eliasz Gutkowski from the party Poalei Zion Right, who was assisted by Rabbi Szymon (Shimon) Huberband, an Agudas Isroel activist, member of the Warsaw rabbinate, and chairman of the religious section of the Warsaw ŻSS. He wrote many reports on the religious life of the Jews under the occupation, and on the destruction of the synagogues and cemeteries. Menachem Linder was responsible for the economic and statistical section, and Izrael Lichtensztajn for education. Other members of OSh were writers and poets, among them Icchak Kacenelson, Rachela Auerbach, Perec Opoczyński and Lejb Goldin. Ringelblum’s other immediate associates were Abraham Lewin, Daniel Fligelman, Nechemiasz Tytelman and Jerzy Winkler. Ringelblum himself examined the history of OSh and profiled those who formed the group in an essay written in January 1943. A year previously the group had launched a research project entitled “Dwa i pół roku” (Two-and-a-half Years). This involved research into issues such as the Jewish woman, religious life, Polish-Jewish relations, house committees, community soup kitchens, bookshops and libraries, the fate of small Jewish communities, and German-Jewish relations. Each chapter was structured chronologically. This project may be viewed as a form of summary of the work of OSh. In the foreword, Ringelblum posed a number of seminal questions as to the impact of the war on Jewish society and its future prospects in both the short term and after the war. The project was never completed.

Naturally, the initiators and founders of ARG could not have foreseen the consequences of the Nazis’ policy to exterminate all the Jews of Europe. Nonetheless, the continued acts of terror, the isolation of the Jews and their exclusion from successive spheres of life, and their annihilation through labour and the poor living conditions in the ghetto and also in direct liquidation campaigns did force the members of OSh to realize that they, too, were unlikely to survive, and that it was therefore imperative that they conceal the materials they had amassed for posterity. When, after the war, first ten metal crates (Ring. I) and later two milk cans (Ring. II), packed full of documents gathered in the ghetto, were unearthed, the world learned just how broadly the members of OSh had understood their mission. The documents they had collected reference all aspects of the life of the Jews in those extreme conditions, from the ways in which the ghetto internees procured food, to works of art and literature. They also offer insight into the way in which the Jews in various different social groups lived in that period, and by what means some of them succeeded in enduring and surviving.

Archival History

The documents excavated from beneath the ruins of the Warsaw ghetto in 1946 and 1950 (hence the use of the division into Part I and Part II ARG). The first two parts of this body of materials were concealed in the basement of the Jewish school at 68 Nowolipki Street in Warsaw ; the third part of the archive, buried not later than on 18 April 1943, and possibly containing documents relating to the Bund or to the ŻOB , and perhaps also other materials , was never found.

Scope and Content

RING. I I. Oneg Shabat records – call no. 1-4. II. General studies on the situation of the Jewish population during the war:

  1. Plans and drafts of works, questionnaires – call no. 5-22.
  2. Oneg Shabat bulletins – call no. 23-38.
  3. Studies, scholarly works, reports – call no. 39-70.
  4. Autonomous collections: – the “Kalisz letters” – call no. 71-163, – the “Płock letters” – call no. 164-178. III. Warsaw and the Warsaw ghetto:
  5. Documents generated by the German authorities and institutions – call no. 179-193.
  6. Documents generated by other institutions and organizations – call no. 194-195.
  7. Workshops in the Warsaw ghetto – call no. 196-198.
  8. Documents generated by Jewish authorities, institutions and organizations: – the Jewish Council – call no. 199-293, – “Trzynastka” (“the Thirteen”) – call no. 294-295, – the ŻSS – call no. 296-349, – Jewish institutions and organizations connected with the ŻSS – call no. 350-382, – Clandestine Jewish organizations – call no. 383-388, – Other Jewish institutions and organizations – call no. 389-401.
  9. Testimonies (diaries, chronicles, eye-witness accounts, memoirs) – call no. 402-536.
  10. Private correspondence – call no. 537-553.
  11. Studies (plans and drafts of works, scientific papers, statistics, tables, notes) – call no. 554-665.
  12. Schooling in the Warsaw ghetto – call no. 666-682.
  13. Photographs from the Warsaw ghetto – call no. 683. IV. Materials on the history of Jewish communities outside Warsaw – call no. 684-1077. V. Testimonies from the 1939 September campaign and POW camps – call no. 1078-1104. VI. Materials on labour camps, transit camps and extermination camps (centres) – call no. 1105-1208. VII. Literary texts – call no. 1209-1271. VIII. Journals and other printed matter:
  14. Jewish press from the period of the 1939 September campaign – call no. 1272.
  15. Official newspapers and journals published in Germany and the occupied territories – call no. 1273-1285.
  16. Other German printed matter – call no. 1286-1290.
  17. Newspapers and official Jewish publications from the German-occupied territories – call no. 1291-1293.
  18. Jewish press published in the USSR – call no. 1294.
  19. Underground press from the Warsaw ghetto – call no. 1295-1347.
  20. Other clandestine printed matter from the Warsaw ghetto – call no. 1348-1352.
  21. Polish underground press – call no. 1353-1383.
  22. Other clandestine printed matter – call no. 1384-1388.
  23. Prewar Jewish press, journals and other printed matter – call no. 1389-1398. IX. Legacies and papers
  24. Materials from Rachela Auerbach (the papers of Icyk Manger) – call no. 1399-1410.
  25. Materials from Mojżesz Kaufman – call no. 1411-1419.
  26. Materials from Menachem Kon (Kohn) – call no. 1420-1424.
  27. Materials from Izrael Lichtensztajn and Gela Seksztajn – call no. 1425-1457.
  28. Materials from Emanuel Ringelblum – call no. 1458-1460.
  29. Materials from Hersz Wasser – call no. 1461-1489. X. Miscellanea – call no. 1490-1505.

RING. II I. Oneg Shabat records – call no. 1-2. II. General studies on the situation of the Jewish population during the war – call no. 3-19. III. Warsaw and the Warsaw ghetto:

  1. Documents generated by the German authorities and institutions – call no. 20-27.
  2. Documents generated by other institutions and organizations – call no. 28.
  3. Workshops in the Warsaw ghetto – call no. 29-41.
  4. Documents generated by Jewish authorities, institutions and organizations: – the Jewish Council – call no. 42-116, – the ŻSS – call no. 117-207, – correspondence of Icchak Giterman – call no. 208-225, – Jewish institutions and organizations connected with the ŻSS – call no. 226-239, – other Jewish institutions and organizations – call no. 240-241.
  5. Testimonies (diaries, chronicles, memoirs) – call no. 242-276.
  6. Private correspondence – call no. 277-293.
  7. Studies (plans and drafts of works, scientific papers, statistics, tables, notes) – call no. 294-329. IV. Materials on the history of Jewish communities outside Warsaw – call no. 330-370. V. Materials on labour camps, transit camps and extermination camps (centres) – call no. 371-386. VI. Literary texts – call no. 387-413. VII. Journals and other printed matter:
  8. Jewish press from the period of the 1939 September campaign – call no. 414.
  9. Official newspapers and journals published in Germany and the occupied territories – call no. 415-418.
  10. Underground press from the Warsaw ghetto – call no. 419-424.
  11. Other clandestine printed matter from the Warsaw ghetto – call no. 425-428.
  12. Polish underground press – call no. 429-449.
  13. Other clandestine printed matter – call no. 450-451. VIII. Legacies and papers
  14. Materials from Rachela Auerbach and Icyk Manger – call no. 452-477.
  15. Materials from Icchak Giterman – call no. 478.
  16. Materials from Eliasz Gutkowski – call no. 479-490.
  17. Materials from Szymon Huberband – call no. 491.
  18. Materials from Izrael Lichtensztajn and Gela Seksztajn – call no. 492-493.
  19. Materials from Perec Opoczyński – call no. 494-507.
  20. Materials from Henryk Piórnik and Wacław Kączkowski – call no. 508-509.
  21. Materials from Cwi Pryłucki – call no. 510.
  22. Materials from Emanuel Ringelblum – call no. 511-522.
  23. Materials from Hersz Wasser – call no. 523-530.
  24. Materials from Chaskiel Wilczyński – call no. 531-553. IX. Miscellanea – call no. 554-558.

Archivist Note

  • Entry selected by Michał Czajka from the book by Alina Skibińska, "Guide to the Sources on the Holocaust in Occupied Poland"

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0

Podziemne Archiwum Getta Warszawskiego

  • Archiwum Ringelbluma
  • Konspiracyjne Archiwum Getta Warszawy
  • Oneg Szabat (kryptonim)
  • Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto: the Ringelblum Archives
Identifier
ARG
Language of Description
Polish
Dates
1940 - 1943
Level of Description
Collection
Languages
  • English
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Yiddish
  • German
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Romanian
  • Ukrainian
  • Italian
Scripts
  • Cyrillic
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
Source
EHRI

Extent and Medium

2063 files

Creator(s)

Biographical History

Podziemne Archiwum Getta Warszawskiego znane też jako Archiwum Ringelbluma (od nazwiska jego inicjatora, kierownika i autora koncepcji badawczej) było w istocie instytucją naukową. Nadano jej kryptonim Oneg Szabat (hebr.: Radość Soboty). Działała od jesieni 1940 r. do marca 1943 r. Skupieni wokół archiwum działacze gromadzili dokumenty urzędowe, osobiste, materiały związane z życiem gospodarczym, społecznym, kulturalnym getta oraz sytuacją ludności żydowskiej na terenach okupowanych przez III Rzeszę. Równolegle podejmowali prace badawcze. Od przesiedlanych do getta, od zbiegłych z innych gett i obozów zbierali relacje z Zagłady. Opracowywali zdobyte informacje i rozprowadzali w formie biuletynu z przeznaczeniem dla władz Polski Podziemnej i dla zagranicy. Najwybitniejsi działacze, ściśle związani z życiem politycznym getta i konspiracją, to Emanuel Ringelblum, Hersz Wasser, Eliasz Gutkowski, Izrael Lichtensztajn, Menachem Linder, Szymon Huberband, Szmul Bresław. W 1946 i 1950 r. w ruinach szkoły im. Dow Ber Borochowa przy ul. Nowolipki 68 wydobyto 2 części archiwum, na ogół w dobrym stanie (zwłaszcza część druga), uległa jednak zniszczeniu większość zgromadzonych zdjęć. Mimo ciągłych poszukiwań (ostatnie na terenie byłego szopu szczotkarskiego w getcie przy ul. Świętojańskiej 34 prowadzono w 2003 r.) nie odnaleziono dotąd części III archiwum. 5.07.1999 r. Podziemne Archiwum Getta Warszawskiego zostało wpisane na Listę "Memory of the World" (Pamięć Świata) UNESCO. Obie części ARG liczą łącznie 28.650 kart i 35.370 stron dokumentów.

Scope and Content

Część I ARG [ukryta 3 sierpnia 1942 r., w drugim tygodniu Wielkiej Akcji Likwidacyjnej Getta Warszawskiego] zawiera m.in..:

  1. dokumenty dotyczące Oneg Szabat, podejmowanych prac i ludzi tworzących Archiwum;
  2. konspekty, ankiety i opracowania dotyczące losów ludności żydowskiej na ziemiach polskich, od 09.1939 do 08.1942 r.:
  • biuletyny Oneg Szabat od 03.1942 do 18.07.1942 (w nich m.in. "Drugi etap". Raport o zagładzie Żydów na ziemiech polskich, informacje o likwidacji kolejnych skupisk żydowskich, o ośrodku zagłady w Chełmnie nad Nerem);
  • materiały do dziejów skupisk żydowskich poza Warszawą (w tym zbiór relacji z kresów),
  • zbiór relacji żołnierzy z kampanii wrześniowej 1939 r. i z obozów jenieckich,
  • materiały dotyczące obozów pracy, obozów przejściowych,
  • zbiór listów napływających do getta (m.in.. kolekcja ziomkostwa kaliszan i płotczan od 10.1939 do 03.1940),
  • utwory literackie
  • kazania (rabina Kalonimusa Szapiro),
  1. materiały dotyczące losu żydowskiej społeczności w Warszawie i getcie warszawskim 1939-1942, w tym.:
  • dokumenty urzędowe władz niemieckich (m.in.. Arbeitsamtu),
  • kolekcja obwieszczeń,
  • dokumenty Rady Żydowskiej (w tym sprawozdania Batalionu Pracy 1940, materiały Służby Porządkowej, Komisji ds.. Przesiedleńców, Zakładu Zaopatrywania, Aresztu Centralnego i in.),
  • korespondencja urzędowa (m.in. z niemieckim komisarzem Dzielnicy Żydowskiej - Der Kommissar für den Jüdischen Wohnbezirk in Warschau - Heinzem Auerswaldem, z Transferstelle, z agendami Zarządu Miejskiego miasta Warszawy),
  • materiały dotyczące warunków pracy w szopach (warsztatach, fabrykach),
  • dokumenty Żydowskiej Samopomocy Społecznej i instytucji z nią związanych (w tym materiały obrazujące działalność placówek oświatowych, opiekuńczych, kulturalnych);
  • relacje, dzienniki, wspomnienia, kroniki, w tymi: Kronika Getta Warszawskiego Emanuela Ringelbluma, kronika Abrahama Lewina, Szymona Winklera, Racheli Auerbach,
  • opracowania naukowe, utwory literackie,
  • prasa konspiracyjna getta warszawskiego,
  • materiały Icyka Mangera, Mojżesza Kaufmana, Emanuela Ringelbluma, Hersza Wassera, Menachema Kona, Izraela Lichtensztajna, Geli Seksztajn i in. II. Część II ARG [ukryta w marcu 1943 r. tuż przed 3 akcją likwidacyjną w getcie warszawskim, przed wybuchem powstania w getcie]:
  1. Materiały ogólne i opracowania dotyczące sytuacji ludności żydowskiej podczas wojny i materiały do dziejów skupisk ludności żydowskiej poza Warszawą, w tym raport o Zagładzie z 15.11.1942 dla Delegatury Rządu w Londynie;
  • materiały dotyczące obozów pracy, obozów przejściowych i ośrodków zagłady (w tym pierwsze informacje i plany Treblinki);
  1. Materiały i opracowania dotyczące ludności żydowskiej Warszawy, w tym:
  • dokumenty władz i instytucji niemieckich,
  • dokumenty dotyczące warunków pracy w szopach getta szczątkowego,
  • dokumenty i korespondencja Rady Żydowskiej,
  • dokumenty Żydowskiej Samopomocy Społecznej i instytucji z nią związanych,
  • konspekty prac, prace naukowe, zestawienia statystyczne,
  • prasa i druki oficjalne,
  • prasa konspiracyjna getta warszawskiego i organizacji po stronie aryjskiej,
  • spuścizny (Cwi Pryłuckiego, Icchaka Kacenelsona, Kalonimusa Szapiro, E. Ringelbluma, Chaskiela Wilczyńskiego, A. Lewina, Janusza Korczaka, Menachema Kona, Icchaka Gitermana i in.).

Archivist Note

  • Selected by Krzysztof Tyszka from the database Sezam

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0