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Writing the HolocaustIdentity, Testimony, Representation$
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Zoë Vania Waxman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541546

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541546.001.0001

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Writing as Resistance? Bearing Witness in the Warsaw Ghetto

Writing as Resistance? Bearing Witness in the Warsaw Ghetto

(p.7) 1 Writing as Resistance? Bearing Witness in the Warsaw Ghetto
Writing the Holocaust

Zoe Vania Waxman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the work of Emmanuel Ringelblum, a trained social historian and teacher, who initiated the Warsaw-based secret archives of Oneg Shabbat (Sabbath Delight: a code-name for the clandestine Sabbath afternoon gatherings). These archives, which represent the most systematic attempt to record Jewish suffering during the Holocaust, were dedicated to finding the best way to record the uprooting of communities, and the suffering and destruction of Polish Jewry. Ringelblum and his colleagues in the Warsaw ghetto were able to amass a considerable amount of information. By secretly recording Jewish life in Poland during the German occupation, and continuing the Jewish tradition of witnessing, the Warsaw ghetto chroniclers, both individually and collectively, performed important acts of resistance. They believed that what they were experiencing would one day be studied as historically important, and this awareness shaped their writing.

Keywords:   resistance, Warsaw ghetto, Emmanuel Ringelblum, Oneg Shabbat, Polish Jewry, ghetto chroniclers, Jewish suffering, secret recording, Jewish life, writing

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