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Remembering the heroes of the Oneg Shabbat Group!
Eighty years ago, in the autumn of 1940, historian Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum founded the Oneg Shabbat, a group whose members, at peril of their lives, documented the life and death of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Creating a collection known as the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto or the Ringelblum Archive. Faced with the annihilation of the Warsaw Jewish community, in August 1942, two teenagers Dawid Graber and Nachum Grzywacz, and their teacher Izrael Lichtensztajn hid the archive in the cellar of their school, the Ber Borokhov gymnasium at Nowolipki 68 Street. None survived the war. Just before the boxes were closed, Graber threw his last will, jotted down in a school notebook, into one of them.
“I am writing my last will during the resettlement of the Jews of Warsaw. It has gone on continually, without interruption, since July 20th. Presently, as I write this, one cannot poke one’s nose out of doors. But there is no safety to be found inside either. It’s been 14 days since this horrible business started. We’ve almost lost touch with our other comrades. It’s every man on his own. Everyone tries to save themselves as best they can. There are three of us left: comrade Lichtensztajn, Grzywacz, and me. We’ve decided to write our last wills, collect a bit of material from the deportation, and bury it. We must hurry, since we don’t know the hour... Yesterday we worked on this late into the night. [...]What we’ve been unable to shout out to the world, we’ve buried in the ground”
From Will of Dawid Graber
Location where the Ringelbaum Archive was hidden and where the Oneg Shabbat Monument will be unveiled in 2021. (Artur Żmijewski/ POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews)
On September 18, 1946 under the rubble of the destroyed ghetto the first part of the Ringelblum Archive was found.
Help in building a monument where the Archive was hidden, commemorating those, for whom preserving the truth about the Warsaw Ghetto was more important than life.
In addition to the monument a symbolic tomb for the members of the Oneg Shabbat group at the Okopowa Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw will be erected. In order to properly honor and bid farewell to the heroes of the Oneg Shabbat group whose resting places are unknown.