Archivo de Shmerke Kaczerginski

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2012.84
  • RG-72.016M
1 Jan 1908 - 31 Dec 1954
Level of Description
  • Yiddish
  • English
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

2,533 digital images, JPEG

3 microfilm reels, 35 mm

1 DVD-ROM, 4 3/4 in.


Biographical History

Shmerke Kaczerginski (1908-1954), Yiddish writer and cultural activist, born in Vilna, Lithuania. orphaned at age six and raised by his grandfather, Kaczerginski learned the lithographer's trade. As a youth, he was involved with outlawed Communist groups and was arrested several times, serving a lengthy prison term. In the 1930s, two of his revolutionary poems became popular in Poland. He wrote short stories with a radical bent and was a correspondent and reporter for literary publications, including the semilegal leftist press in Poland and the New York Communist daily Morgn-frayhayt. During the first period of Nazi occupation, Kaczerginski wandered through villages and towns posing as a deaf mute; after many difficulties, he ended up in the Vilna ghetto. Kaczerginski was a member of the Fareynikte Partizaner Organizatsye (United Partisans Organization; FPO). In September 1943, Kaczerginski, along with Avrom and Freydke Sutzkever and other members of the FPO, escaped from the Vilna ghetto as part of an organized group of fighters just before its liquidation. They joined a Soviet partisan unit in the Naroch Forests, where Kaczerginski fought as a partisan until liberation in July 1944. Kaczerginski’s books describe the destruction of Vilna, the partisan struggle, and his own experiences during the Holocaust period: Khurbn Vilne (The Destruction of Vilna; 1947), Partizaner geyen (Partisans on the Move; 1947), and Ikh bin geven a partizan (I Was a Partisan; 1952). Refer to extended biography here:

Archival History

Yiṿo in Argenṭine


Source of acquisition is the Yiṿo in Argenṭine (Fundación IWO). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the collection via the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s International Archives Project in March 2012.

Scope and Content

This collection contains personal papers of Shmerke Kaczerginski (1908-1954), former partisan and collector of Jewish music: i.d. documents, photographs, correspondence, manuscripts, and secondary sources such as clippings and publications about Kaczerginski’s life and work (includes Kaczerginski's book, "Destruction of Jewish Vilna", published in New York in 1947).

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Copyright Holder: Yiṿo in Argenṭine




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.