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Who Will Write Our History?: Rediscovering a…
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Who Will Write Our History?: Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the… (2007)

by Samuel D. Kassow

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Kassow provided an interesting look at the Warsaw Ghetto, and the efforts of Emanuel Ringelblum, a Jewish historian, to chronicle what happened in it througout the Second World War through a collaboration with other Jews in an archive known as the Oyneg Shabes. The first third of the book details Ringelums pre-war life, including his political views, and was quite tedious to read, as it felt to be rather repetitive. After all, there is only so much that can be written about a historian, even if he has radical political and cultural views (which Ringelblum did to an extent). After that, it quickly increases pace, as the Oyneg Shabes works to record every aspect of the Warsaw Ghetto, from the smugglers who crossed the walls, to the way soup kitchens operated, even the types of music the Ghetto produced. It provides excellent details on anything to deal with the Ghetto, and has extensive footnotes and bibliography, totalling nearly 100 pages, for further research. ( )
  kaiser_matias | Jul 7, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Efsher veln oykh di verter
Dervartn zikh ven oyf dem likht--
Veln in sho in basherter
Tseblien zikh umgerikht?

Un vi der uralter kern
Vos hot zikh farvandlt in zang--
Veln di verter oykh nern,
Veln di verter gehern
Dem volk, in zayn eybikn gang.


[Perhaps these words will endure
And live to see the light loom--
And in the destined hour
Will unexpectedly bloom?

And like the primeval grain
That turned into a stalk--
The words will nourish,
The words will belong
To the people, in its eternal walk.]

--Avrom Sutzkever
"Grains of Wheat,"
Vilna Ghetto, March 1943.

Translated by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav
Dedication
Dedicated to my wife Lisa, my daughters Miri and Serena, and to the loving memory of my parents Jacob Kassow and Celia Kassow
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September 18, 1946. After weeks of preparation and planning, searchers had finally begun to dig under the rubble of Nowolipki 68 in the ruins of the former Warsaw Ghetto.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307455866, Paperback)

In 1940, in the Jewish ghetto of Nazi-occupied Warsaw, the Polish historian Emanuel Ringelblum established a clandestine scholarly organization called the Oyneg Shabes to record the experiences of the ghetto's inhabitants. For three years, members of the Oyneb Shabes worked in secret to chronicle the lives of hundereds of thousands as they suffered starvation, disease, and deportation by the Nazis. Shortly before the Warsaw ghetto was emptied and razed in 1943, the Oyneg Shabes buried thousands of documents from this massive archive in milk cans and tin boxes, ensuring that the voice and culture of a doomed people would outlast the efforts of their enemies to silence them. Impeccably researched and thoroughly compelling, Samuel D. Kassow's Who Will Write Our History? tells the tragic story of Ringelblum and his heroic determination to use historical scholarship to preserve the memory of a threatened people.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In 1940, the historian Emanuel Ringelbaum established a clandestine organisation, code named Oyneg Shabes, in Nazi-occupied Warsaw to study and document all facets of Jewish life in wartime Poland and to compile an archive that would preserve this history for posterity. This text tells his story.… (more)

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