The 2018 Awards for Ethical Leadership was announced by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) – a New York non-profit corporation. The creators of the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto were honored for their „courage and prescience. They were the true ethical documentarians of their time, risking their lives to obtain contemporaneous reports as accurate and irrefutable proof of catastrophic historical events”.
The Award was accepted by Marian Turski – the Deputy Chair of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland and International Auschwitz Committee, Chair of POLIN Museum Council, Member of International Auschwitz Council and presented by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett – the Chief Curator of the Core Exhibition in the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
The ceremony coincided with the 74th anniversary of discovering the „Krysia” bunker by the Germans. In the bunker, located in the Ochota district of Warsaw, 38 Jews had remained in hiding for several months, among them Emanuel Ringelblum, his wife Judyta and son Uri. The „Krysia” bunker was exposed on 7 March 1944. Ringelblum was most likely executed on the 10th of March 1944.
Documents collected by the Oneg Shabbat group between 1940 and 1943, called the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto are a harrowing testimony of life in the ghetto, an experience shared by 300,000 Polish Jews. The Archive comprises over 35,000 pages written in Polish, Yiddish, Hebrew, and German. Majority of the documents were preserved as faded handwritten notes, difficult to decipher. They carry a testimony of daily life in the Warsaw Ghetto and of its destruction during the Holocaust. In 1999, the Archive became a part of UNESCO’s „Memory of the World” list.
On 18 September 2017, the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute together with the Jewish Historical Institute Association in Poland initiated a long-term Oneg Szabat program popularizing knowledge about the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto (the Ringelblum Archive).