Hersch Wasser collection Kolekcja Hersza Wassera

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2010.202
  • RG-15.143
1 Jan 1939 - 31 Dec 1946
Level of Description
  • Polish
  • Yiddish
  • Hebrew
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

2,454 digital images, PDF

3 DVD-ROMs, 4 3/4 in.

3 microfilm reels, 35 mm


Biographical History

Wasser Hersz (Hirsz) (born in 1912 in Suwałki Poland), died in 1980 in Israel) – a lawyer and an economist, a member of the Peasant Movement. During the occupation he was in the Warsaw ghetto where he was a secretary of the Central Committee of Refugees at the Jewish Self-Help. In the secret Ringelblum Archive (ARG, "Oneg Shabat,") he was the First Secretary and one of the closest co-worker of Emanuel Ringelblum. While making the inventory of the materials and lists of authors he practically became the organizer of the Archive.

Archival History

Yivo Institute for Jewish Research


Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

Source of acquisition is the Żydowski Instytut Historyczny im. Emanuela Ringelbluma (ŻIH). The original records are held in the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York, Record Group 225. Hersch Wasser secretly shipped documents from the Ringelblum Archives from communist Poland to France trying to save them that way. Digital copies of documents were made out of microfilms handed over to the Żydowski Instytut Historyczny im. Emanuela Ringelbluma (ŻIH) in Warsaw by YIVO in NY. Digital collection was sent to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, International Archival Programs in 2009 and later transferred to the Musuem Archives.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of diaries, eyewitness accounts, testimonies, essays, official and underground publications, documents from the Jewish councils (Judenrats). The materials pertain to Jewish communities, ghettos, labor camps and to Jews living illegally on the "Aryan side." Materials on the Warsaw Ghetto include a manuscript diary and other notes by Emanuel Ringelblum. Essays by other members of the Oneg Shabat group on topics related to conditions in the ghetto, such as: black market, street trade, smuggling, working, performing arts, child beggars, ghetto folklore, sanitary conditions, mortality, the Jewish police, the Judenrat, self-help orgainizations, child care. Materials on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in April 1943 include testimonies, reports in the Polish underground press, a communication from the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK) to the Jewish Fighters’ Organization (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa, ŻOB) about support for the uprising. Materials on other communities consist mostly of eyewitness accounts and diaries from Chełm, Ciechanów, Częstochowa, Dąbie, Garbatka, Góra Kalwaria, Gorlice, Kaunas (Kowno), Krośniewice, Kutno, Legionowo, Łódź, Lubicz, Lublin, Lwów, Ostrowiec, Otwock, Piotrków, Płock, Płońsk, Serock, Słonim, Sokolów Podlaski, Torczyn, Vilna. Eyewitness accounts of the early labor camps for Jewish prisoners in Budzyn, Łowicz, Osiedle Osów, Pustków, Tyszowce. A testimony about the first death camp in Chełmno near Łódź.

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Copyright Holder: Yivo Institute for Jewish Research


Corporate Bodies



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.