The Main Judaic Library building at ul. Tłomackie 3/5, where the Archive is kept, survived the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto. It was in that building that Emanuel Ringelblum worked during World War II and where the Oneg Shabbat met secretly to work on the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto.
The building was renovated just after the war. It is currently home to the Jewish Historical Institute and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland. The Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto is still being stored here.
Before the war, the building of the former Main Judaic Library belonged to the architectural complex of the Great Synagogue at Tłomackie Street. In 1943, when the Germans blew up the synagogue as a symbolic act ending the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, fire impacted also the Main Judaic Library – currently home of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland. The proof of the damage is still visible in form of decolouring, caused by high temperature. In order to prevent further destruction of the floor and increasing its resistance to damage, it has undergone special conservation works in 2017.
To commemorate the Place we want to revitalize and modernize it. In 2017, the main hall was revitalized and the burn marks on the floor – traces of the fire that engulfed the building on the last day of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – were conserved.
Emanuel Ringelblum and nearly all of the members of the Oneg Shabbat were killed during the war. Of those involved in creating the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto, only Rachela Auerbach, Bluma Wasser and Hersz Wasser survived the Holocaust.
The members of the Oneg Shabbat shared the fate of Polish Jews – they died on trains bound for Treblinka and in gas chambers, they were shot against the ghetto wall and on the ruins of the ghetto, they were killed during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and they died of hunger or from diseases that spread rapidly in the overcrowded and poverty-stricken ghetto.
They have no grave. It is therefore our intention to give them a symbolic memorial. The Oneg Shabbat monument will be built in the Okopowa Street Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, in a section that was part of the ghetto.