We invite you to listen to the third episode of the Oneg Szabat Podcast. Dr. Karolina Szymaniak (Jewish Historical Institute/University of Wrocław) tells about Rachela Auerbach, writer, journalist and social activist, associate of Emanuel Ringelblum.
Rachela Auerbach was one of three people from the Oneg Shabbat group who managed to survive the war. During the difficult period of the reconstruction Warsaw, when the importance of the hidden documentation of the Oneg Shabbat group was not yet realized, Auerbach contributed to the discovery of the Ringelblum Archive in the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Dr. Karolina Szymaniak is a literary scholar, Yiddish scholar, and translator. Winner of the 2016 “Polityka” Historical Award for editing the writings of Rachela Auerbach from the Warsaw ghetto. Among the subjects of her research is modern Yiddish literature and the history of Polish-Jewish cultural contacts.
Ringelblum didn’t actually want professional writers as contributors. Auerbach was a professional writer, a journalist and this was her job. (…) Auerbach was asked to write a diary. This was also a genre used by the group, the group commissioned several diaries (…) and Auerbach’s diary certainly belongs to the most powerful documents of the kind.
The monograph of the soup kitchen is a monograph of people, clients who visited the kitchen, people who she tried to save and was unable to. And she was very disappointed during the war with her achievements. She had the sense that this work helps nobody. After the war she looked at it differently.