According to the conservation requirements, paper documents displayed behind glass have to be regularly replaced in order to provide necessary maintenance. We would also like to present possibly many significant documents from the collection of the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Among presented objects, it is worth paying attention to the armband of a hospital employee from the Great Deportation period with a handwritten note on the reverse: „9.9.42 6.00 — wife, sister, 10.9.1942 — parents”.
For the next three months, you will be able to see an original fragment of Szymon Huberband’s work Individual Pain from 1941. Szymon Huberband was a rabbi and community activist. Emanuel Ringelblum recruited him for the Oneg Shabbat; for the Archive, Huberband drafted studies on religious life during the Holocaust.
In the most terrible period
For the people, as a whole generation
Passes away amid blood and suffering,
When the enormity of the tragedy
And Joblike news reaches us en masse,
When a great “brotherly grave”
Is all that is left of all the Jewish communities…,
When the “suffering of the community”
Is so tragic –
One cannot forget individual pain!
When the time comes
May every fact cry out:
I demand vengeance!
At the exhibition, we present also a sermon of Rabbi Kalonimus Kelmisz Szapiro delivered in the Warsaw Ghetto, Hanukkah (December 1941) or fragment of Journal of Lejzor Czarnobroda from the period of the Great Deportation.
We cannot cry, we cannot shed even a single tear. Only a human being can cry! You cry before someone. We’ve ceased to be human beings!… I write with difficulty. Am I capable of composing myself and rendering, even in fragmentary form, all that I have gone through in these last few days and continue to suffer? No, certainly not, it is beyond human power and reason. Will these words reach you, who still remain, Faithful Friend, will you bring them to light? It is for you I write. I don’t know if you even exist, Friend. As I have come to doubt all, so have I also come to doubt you. Why is it that now, when we call upon you with all our strength, you are not here? Will you really not come back? Is it true that even you have betrayed?
We have also added private letters, preserved in the Ringelblum Archive: anonymous letter written in the Warsaw Ghetto to an old Polish friend after March 1942, a letter from the period of the Great Deportation, written in August 1942 — the author and his family were able to survive thanks to a pass procured by Menachem Kohn, a postcard from Moniek Gross from Kalisz to B. Lustig in the Warsaw Ghetto (19 February 1942) and handwritten copy of a postcard dropped out of a train bound for Auschwitz and delivered to relatives in the Warsaw Ghetto.
By courtesy, please drop in a post box.
L. Przygoda, Warsaw, 46 Miła Street
16 December, Wednesday
I’m jotting down a few words for you as we stop at Praga.
We’re going God knows where. Be well. Łaja
At the exhibition, we present a certificate confirming that the housing registration card of Leon Ringelblum (Emanuel’s brother), employed at the Ostdeutsche Bautischlerei Werkstatte, has been handed over to the SS to be stamped, Gustawa Jarecka’s account The Last Stage of Resettlement is Death, describing the beginning of the Great Deportation and also a page from a Hashomer Hatzair radio monitoring report with information about a BBC broadcast aired on 26 June 1942 and with a speech by member of the [Polish] National Council Shmuel Zygielbojm.
A visit to the permanent exhibition is also a perfect opportunity to discover the fragment of Władysław Szlengel’s poem “Już czas! Czas!” (It’s time! It’s time!) from December 1942.
It’s time! It’s time!
You’ve long frightened us with the day of reckoning!
We’ve had enough of prayers and penance.
Today You shall stand before our tribunal
Humbly awaiting Your sentence.
Into Your powerful heart of stone
We’ll cast a blasphemous, terrible, bloody charge.
With the blades of axes and swords
Like the tower of Babel it shall storm the sky.
And You above, the great convict,
There in the ghastly interstellar silence,
Shall hear every single word,
As the chosen people accuses you
– there is no requital, there is no requital!