The Ringelblum Archivists.

“..It must all be recorded with not a single fact omitted. And when ..time comes it surely will ..let read and know what ..murderers have done.” Emanuel Ringelblum. #My effort in the work I have chosen to do is so very important to me, it has taken hold of much of what I have written and still wish to write. For that reason I have read much of the Survivor’s their hope emblazoned upon an experience we have no understanding of. In that, what Emanuel Ringelblum sought to achieve, and the fact that he could not achieve the life for 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, affords us an archive of moving tribute. The very fact that we have an Onyeg Shabbes, is a record of a glorious effort to outwit the Nazi’s and report the atrocity.

“..Remember ..there is a national treasure buried under ..rubble. It’s ..Ringelblum Archive. We must not rest until we find ..Archive. ..even if there are 5 layers of ruins over it ..we have to find ..Archive.” Rachel Auerbach.

My own search has taken me to places of unspeakable horror, places not quieted by the years since they were filled with the cacophony of annihilation, destruction and extermination. Elsewhere my search to know has taken men back to those places were the effort to at least secure the evidence of the Jewish Culture that was being eradicated is best achieved in places like Cracow, Lodz, Lublin and of course in Warsaw where Jewish persistence not along struck back, it dug deep to deliver more than a glimpse of what is lost.

“..Leviathan would be too small to accomplish thou has performd up to now.” Icchak Giterman.

It is essential therefore, for those who seek through any of my words their own search for the incomprehensibility of The Holocaust, that they clearly recognise that I stand alongside 6,000,000 accusers who must Never be the accused. There is no ambiguity in all that I have sought for these Jews, abandoned by our humanity, sought out for Slaughter and devastatingly destroyed as we watched on. In that, no sense of responsibility belongs to other than the perpetrator and the accomplice in what amounted to an intolerance beyond intolerable.

“..Director of ..public kitchen ..40 Leszno Street ..Rachel Auerbach ..told me ..a pot is use serving 3rd. generation of one Family ..first two generations have died.” Emanuel Ringelblum.

As for History, it should have been better spent looking at these 6,000,000, who were systematically sought out an slaughtered for being Jews. We must acknowledge, with all due concern to the irretrievable position they were placed in, without any ability to extricate themselves from its iron grip. Then we would have accomplished a better vision of a history, of what had supposedly civilised, that would not now be taken up with having to look to find them. Truly, a precedent has been laid down and Genocide has now become the reflection of our failure to protect all that is worthy of humanity.

“..very existence of this archive a testimony. Few texts live a life as intense as these ..written by ..deaths of 1,000’s.” Hersz Wasser.

No one should ever doubt the terrifying facts of what horror I seek to present nor should they then deny the very truth of its veracity. And no one should ever complain that I uphold the integrity of a factual truth so often proven, as this unprecedented event became a tipping point in the loss of civilisation. Here, where nations could and did ignore the boundaries of ethical morality, all society has been crushed by the weight of the atrocity against the Jewish People endlessly raged against the Jewish People of all of Europe.

“..January 1st. 1940 ..mortality rate among ..Jews in Warsaw is dreadful. 50 to 70 deaths daily.” Emanuel Ringelblum.

Hope sprung up from every moment it was taken away from the Jews and what we came to witness, as the Destruction of the Jewish People took on its unprecedented nature, was hope’s wastage. Whether by der Einsatzgruppe, their killings in the field of operations or with the Death Camp gassings, hope is submerged by a record of such destruction that now realises in Warsaw, feats of Resistance. As the Nazi’s destroyed entire Jewish Community’s with ruthless efficiency, Jewish efficacy was moved to store away from the larceny of German, and non-Jewish Polish greed, the artefacts of Jewish life and existence.

“..What we were unable to shout out to ..we hid underground. May this treasure end up in good hands ..may it live to see better times. May it alert” Dawid Graber.

The truth of this Jewish Reistance is being written and it has been recorded and it must be recognised as an effort beyond the physical wish to fight back. We know well of the armed Resistance the Jews caught within the trap Hitler had laid down for them. The inescapable truth, given a choice that had no way of being realised, was to be consumed in line with Hitler’s demand, and all of these 6,000,000 Jews are recorded in that eventual resolve. Everywhere, as Jews were flung headlong into oblivion, Jews were sifting through the debris of these crimes to manage a restorative essential that would recall all that was being done to them.

“..If none of us survives least let effort remain.” Emanuel Ringelblum.

Of course there were obvious quarrels amongst those who sought to fight back, but there were always going to be Jews who recognised what could and should be saved from the destruction that could not be prevented. For all of these Jews, who sought to ensure the Cultural and Civilising influence of all that mattered to Jewish History could be salvaged, and that these could be preserved as Jewish life was to be so radically annihilated. Within this remit, as opposed to the fighting essential for those who did seek retribution and resistance to assail their assaulters, there was a quiet revolution in the making that would eventually surpass expectations.

“..I have to die ..but I did my thing. I would like ..memory of my paintings to survive.” Gela Seksztajn-Lichtensztein.

Of course, there were other Jews who also saw a form of redemption in saving the truth of the era and Avraham Tory in Vilna was one of these. For those who also sought to salvage the integrity of Jewishness, the strength of Polish Jewry’s intellectual position in Poland brought to the fore, an intellectual force over brutal illegitimacy. In all of this, Emanuel did not forget the Jews of all of Poland and features efforts to record what was happening and The Lodz Ghetto and in Lublin, also provides another insight into the wider spectre of the destruction.

“..Friday June 26th. 1942 ..English radio broadcat ..fate of Polish Jewry. ..about Slonim ..Vilna, Lvov ..Chelmno.” Emanuel Ringelblum.

Today we have the evidence of all that was sought out from Jewish existence that persisted and survived. The concentration of minds does not always allow us to see what has become obvious to some to see past the immediacy of what we seek to grasp. Without saying too much of these few, and we recognise that some 50 to 60 Academics, Administrators, Artesans, Artisists, Clerics, Diarists, Essayists, Note takers, Poets, Typists, Writers of every calibre, and all of these who were all drawn together by the vision of one man, Emmanuel Ringelblum.

“..a stone hurled under history’s wheel in order to stop it.” Gustawa Jarecka.

The intellectual attempt was to archive all that had always mattered to Jewish antecedence and at the same time, record the atrocities and those who perpetrated them. Within this too was the record of those whose commital of such crimes of depravity, and as it was happening to the Jews, would indict the many who then escaped judgement. Remember too that these Jews of the archive managed to achieve all we have in evidence, and in the jaws of a destruction that rages as they write, save, encourage and share. As an immense Slaughter of all those Jews they belonged to was being waged, the reams of acknowledgement were being accumulated.

“..Onyeg Shabbes has passed from poor work to good work ..back to poor work. ..necessary to save ..information we have.” Emanuel Ringelblum.

The Archive itself, formed by some 1,100 committees in more than 1,100 buildings spread throughout the Warsaw Ghetto of January 1942, exceeded perhaps even what Emanuel had hoped for. Though many of these, who composed and gifted their efforts to Ringelblum, all associations with the entire effort could not be limited nor exclusive to these being mentioned. Over 35,000 pages of writings in some 6,000 Documents now exist and along with these are Children’s School projects, German orders of the day, Invites to Ghetto events, Leaflets, Letters, Newspapers, Postcards, Posters, Ration cards, Sweet wrappers and Tram tickets.

“..Heard of a Woman who foretold ..what was going to happen. ..As ..Menachem Kon tells it ..ending with ..prophesy ..war will end November ..1941. ..Jews reason that ..war will end ..because of ..numerical value of Hebrew year.” Emanuel Ringelblum.

These, the ordinary day to day artefacts of everyday living, are now encompassed in a material resource that preserves much of these lives the Jewish owners once belonged to. What we have to deal with is the future which is absent of all those who perished, those who sought rescue, an intervention on their behalf to save them, or luck. So we are thankful to the vision of Ringelblum and the collective surrounding him, which saw in his vision what has been delivered to posteity, when the end was imminent, and without hope of other than destruction. Some of these whose effort, memory and for 3 who lived past being engulfed in the conflagration they are amongst:

Rachel Auerbach, Aleksandra Bankowska, Eleonora Bergman, Dr. Adolf Berman, Eliezer Lipe Bloch, Hans Braz, Szmuel Breslav, David Cholodenko, Tadeusz Epsztein, Yehuda Feld, Daniel Fligelman, Bluma Fuswerk, Icchak Giterman, Leib Goldin, Jechiel ‘Chil’ Gorny, Dawid Graber, Nachum Grzywacz, Eliasz Gutkowski, Rabbi Szymon Huberband, Gustawa Jarecka, Bernard Kampelmacher, Josef Kaplan, Menahem Mendel Kon, Aaron Koninski, Abraham Kurz, Alexander Landau, Henryka Lazowertowna, Abraham Lewin, Israel Lichtensztein, Menachem Linder, Rafael Mahler, Bela Mandelsberg, Sonia Nowogrodzki, Perec Opoczynski, Salomea Ostrowska, Shie Perle, Symon Pullman, Szyja Rabinowicz, Emanuel Ringelblum, A Samberg, Gela Seksztajn-Lichtensztein, Moshe Skalow, Cecilya ‘Luba’ Slapakowa-Slepak, Rosa Symchowitz, Szmuel Szajnkinder, Wladyslaw Szlengel, Mordechaj Szwarcbard, Basia Temkin-Berman, Nechemiasz Tytelman, Bluma Wasser, Hersz Wasser, Jerzy Winkler, Izrael Winnik, Szmuel Winter, Shakhne Zagan, Michal Znicz and Jakub Zylberberg.

“..populace is afraid that at ..crucial terrifying moment ..Germans will discover some clever way of turning to nought all our efforts at self rescue. Whether that is true or not ..only ..future will tell.” Emanuel Ringelblum.