In the Ringelblum Archive, included in 1999 into UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, they gathered anything related to the events taking place in the ghetto: from posters with German regulations, through minutes from the Judenrat’s meetings, labels of commodities from the ghetto, private correspondence, memoirs, the conspiratorial press, to reports by the first death camps escapees, a few dozen photographs, and even watercolor paintings, and drawings. In total the Archive is comprised of around 30 thousand items and is the most important part of the collections of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.
The documents survived the war by being hidden in metal boxes and milk cans. Only five containers are preserved in good condition. Two boxes out of three are stored in the JHI, whereas the remaining one was rented to the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority — Yad Vashem. Also both steel cans are preserved in good condition. One of them has always been kept in the safe of the Institute, the second one, however, was exhibited at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since 1991. This week, after 23 years, both of these cans were placed together in the safe of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.
Thanks to the close cooperation between the Jewish Historical Institute and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum it was possible to display a few dozen items from the Ringelblum Archive at the permanent exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and conduct conservation works and digitization of the Archive in the Institute in Warsaw.