'What we’ve been unable to shout out to the world' – permanent exhibition
The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland have the honor to invite you to the permanent exhibition dedicated to the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto and its creators – the Oneg Shabbat group.
For the first time in 71 years, we present original documents of the Archive – one of the most important testimonies of the Holocaust of Polish Jews, as well as one of two authentic containers in which the documents were buried underground. The Archive, unearthed in two parts in 1946 and 1950, has become a part of the world’s memory.
The title of the exhibition, What we’ve been unable to shout out to the world, is a quote from the last will of 19-year old David Graber, one of three people who hid the first part of the Archive in the basement of the Nowolipki 68 (Ber Borochov Jewish secular primary school before World War II). The archive was buried in the ground during the extermination action in Warsaw.
The main subject of the exhibition will be the activity of Oneg Shabbat (Hebrew: The Joy of Sabbath), a secret group active in the Warsaw Ghetto, and the story of the unique archive they created – from its beginnings until present day. History recorded on the pages of the Archive tells the story of its authors. We want to allow them to speak after 70 years. The founder and main creator of the Archive was a historian — dr Emanuel Ringelblum. Oneg Shabbat’s work, a proof of intellectual and spiritual resistance, was made according to scientific guidelines, with care for objectivity and language diligence.
The exhibition presents documents, letters and testaments left by people who were about to die, accounts of witnesses and genocide victims – all hidden in one of the ghetto basements, by people who risked their own lives. These accounts, which contain pain and suffering of individual persons, have been collected and archived in a salvaged building of the Main Judaistic Library, currently – the home of the JHI.
The title of the exhibition, What we’ve been unable to shout out to the world, is a quote from the testament left by Dawid Graber, a 19-year old who participated in hiding the first part of the Archive during the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. While burying the Archive, he wrote: One of the streets next to us has been already blocked. The moods are horrible. We expect the worst. We’re in a hurry. […] Goodbye. I hope we will manage to bury it. […] What we’ve been unable to shout out to the world, we buried in the ground. [Monday, 3 August , 4 PM]
The Ringelblum Archive is considered to be one of the most significant archive complexes. It was included on UNESCO’s Memory of the World list in 1999.
The core exhibition features audio descriptions of the films "The Search", "The Treasure", "City of Secrets" and "Heritage".
The films tell the story of post-war search and discovery of the Ringelblum Archive hidden underground, the classification of the archive – an invaluable treasure, the use of documents from the Archive as evidence in trials of war criminals, as well as the sharing, digitization and conservation of the collection in recent years.
In addition, the exhibition includes audio descriptions of biographies of all the members of Oneg Shabbat group – the creators of the Archive – known by name.
If you would like to use audio description, please make a request at the reception desk before visiting the exhibition. Exhibition supervisors will indicate stands with audio description.
The exhibition is one of the key events of the Oneg Szabat Program launched by the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland within a public-private partnership.