Who will write our history?

Roberta Grossman’s film premiered on 21 July at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, where it received the Audience Award. This year, it will be screened in Poland – on 12 November, it will open the Warsaw Jewish Film Festival. The Jewish Historical Institute is one of the film’s partners.

The script of the film was based on a book by American historian, Samuel D. Kassow, dedicated to the Oneg Shabbat group and the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The film was directed by Roberta Grossman, who has also written the script. Nancy Spielberg – Steven Spielberg’s younger sister – was responsible for co-production, and Dyanna Taylor – winner of five Emmy awards for TV productions – for cinematography.   The role of Emanuel Ringelblum was played by Piotr Głowacki, Rachela Auerbach — by Jowita Budnik,  Ringelblum’s wife Judyta — by Karolina Gruszka, while Abraham Lewin, one of Ringelblum’s associates, author of a diary from the Warsaw Ghetto, was played by  Wojciech Zieliński. In English dubbing, we will hear Adrien Brody (Emanuel Ringelblum), Joan Allan (Rachela Auerbach) and others.

The film quotes extensively the documents preserved in the Ringelblum Archive. Part of the scenes have been filmed in Łódź and Warsaw – also in the hall of the Jewish Historical Institute, where Emanuel Ringelblum’s group were holding their secret meetings during the war. The sets were designed by Marek Warszewski, and costumes by Aleksandra Staszko.

Dr Karolina Szymaniak from the JHI scientific department worked as a consultant during the making one the film.

The official European premier of the documentary took place on October 19, at the International Film Festival in Rome.

Scenes shot in the JHI building/photo: Grzegorz Kwolek

Special screenings on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

On 27 January 2019, during the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the film will be screened worldwide – in cinemas, theatres, churches, synagogues, mosques, universities, museums, culture centres. At the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, an audience of about 1500 diplomats from all around the world will take part in a discussion with Nancy Spielberg, Roberta Grossman, Samuel D. Kassow and Stephen Smith, head of the USC Shoah Foundation. The discussion will be transmitted live in social media, on the film’s profile page.

The screenings will be preceded with a trailer of the #WeRemember campaign. Viewers will be encouraged to join the campaign and to publish their photos with the hashtag on their Facebook profiles.

More information about the movie

Screenings of „Who will write our history” in Poland:
  • Bydgoszcz Energa Camerimage International Film Festival — 16.11.2018 more information
  • 23. Cinergia European Film Forum in Łódź — 23.11.2018 – 1.12.2018 more information

Preserving the memory about the Holocaust and the resistance of the Oneg Shabbat group is a shared aim of both the filmmakers and the institutions which are responsible for this great heritage of humanity: the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland.

In 2017, the Jewish Historical Institute and the Association have established the Oneg Szabat Program, aimed at popularizing the documents from the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto and commemorating its creators.

The  Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and the Oneg Szabat Program are the partners of the film and the event organized on 27 January 2019.