Words extracted from the ground

On 18th September, 1946 from under the rubble of a house at Nowolipki 68 on the area of the former ghetto, ten metal containers were excavated.

Wide full hd metalowe skrzynki  w kt rych ukryto pierwsz  cz    archiwum ringelbluma
dr Eleonora Bergman

On 18th September, 1946 from under the rubble of a house at Nowolipki 68 on the area of the former ghetto, ten metal containers with dimensions of 15 x 30 x 50 cm were excavated. Papers in the containers were wet, difficult to separate, partially destroyed by mould with traces of rust after paper clips. It was the first of two discovered parts of the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto, commonly known as the Ringelblum Archive. Today we know that over twenty thousand cards, including drawings and photographs, were placed in these containers...

One of the witnesses to the discovery of the Archive, Michał Borowicz, wrote, „Rarely do texts live such an intensive lives as those written by several thousand deaths”. However, even these texts are still not commonly known. I hope that it will change when the Jewish Historical Institute has completed its project of publishing all of the materials of the Archive, fulfilling at the same time the will of the Ringelblum and Oneg Szabat group. Finally, there will be 36 volumes.

Only three people from senior management of the Ghetto Archive survived the war: Hersh Wasser, his wife Bluma, and writer Rachel Auerbach. Wasser helped identify the places where the documents were hidden. He wrote shortly afterwards: „There is no doubt that the discovery of Dr. Ringelblum Archive is a turning point in learning the history of the Warsaw Ghetto. The materials and documents of the archive will be the foundation of all the works on Jewish life in Warsaw — the heart of Polish Jewry”. He was right. These materials allow you to look at the history through the eyes of the sentenced to death, and not only through the documents of the criminals, as it had usually happened till then.

Many people around the world know the address of the bunker at Miła 18, where Mordechai Anielewicz and his comrades perished during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. I believe that also the address of the school at Nowolipki 68 deserves to become known worldwide. It was there that 19-year-old Dawid Graber wrote his last will, which he attached to the first part of the hidden archive: „What we had not managed to shout out to the world, we hid under ground”.

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