Appendix C: How the Ringelblum Archives were Collected, Buried, Unearthed, Conserved, and Viewed

This section of Poetry in Hell includes translations of seven articles written by Rachel Auerbach (1901-1976) that appeared between April and July 1947 in Arbeter Vort (“Worker’s Word”), a Yiddish-language newspaper published in Paris, France.

  1. This is How It Started
  2. Three Wills
  3. How the Ringelblum Archive was Unearthed
  4. How the Materials of the Ringelblum Archives were Conserved
  5. Ruined Materials
  6. A Look Into the Papers of the Ringelblum Archives
  7. It was Still Warsaw

These articles are housed in the Paris Yiddish Centre – Medem Library and overseen and made available by Dr Yitskhok Niborski  and Librarian Natalia Krynicka.

The author of these articles, Rachel Auerbach was a trusted member of the underground group called the “Oneg Shabbat Society“ led by Emanuel Ringelblum. Rachel Auerbach headed a Warsaw Ghetto soup kitchen and was a faithful chronicler of the life of people imprisoned in the ghetto. When she found herself the sole survivor of her family and one of two survivors of the Oneg Shabbat Society post war, she took on the task of caring for the Ringelblum Archives and assured their place in Yad Vashem.

She used her grief to take actions to insure that the materials were safeguarded and disseminated and that the historians, writers, poets, artists, musicians, activists, and inhabitants of the Ghetto who were murdered were honored and memorialized.

Their silenced voices speak to us from the Ringelblum Archives and its poetry.