The Pilecki Institute in Berlin and the Jewish Historical Institute (ŻIH) in Warsaw will introduce the book “Archives More Important Than Life: Secret Archives of the Warsaw Ghetto” in the German capital next week. This publication allows German readers to listen fully to the voices of the victims, says ŻIH Director Monika Krawczyk.
Historical Significance of the Archives
The documents, meticulously collected by Emanuel Ringelblum and the “Oneg Shabbat” group during the initial stages of the ghetto’s liquidation in July 1942, provide a harrowing perspective of the German occupation from the viewpoint of the persecuted Jewish population.
Civilian Resistance and Hidden Documents
Despite the ongoing nightmare of the ghetto, the archive creators continued their work, documenting the stories of the poorest, weakest, children, refugees, and those dying of hunger on the streets. The hidden documents survived in the cellar of a school in the ghetto, later rediscovered in 1946 and 1950.
East European Experience in Holocaust Studies
Krawczyk acknowledges the growing presence of the East European experience in German Holocaust studies. Language barriers remain a challenge, making this publication crucial for German readers to fully comprehend the voices of the victims.
Remembering in Berlin: A Moral Triumph
Presenting the publication in Berlin, the city that once orchestrated the decisions behind the Holocaust, holds particular significance. Ringelblum’s moral triumph is evident as his name is honored, while the perpetrators’ names are erased from history. The exhibition in Munich further emphasizes the ongoing need to remember and respect the past.