Daily Entries of Hersh Wasser. Introduction and Notes
Hersh Wasser’s unique document, originally written in Yiddish, was preserved in the clandestine Oneg Shabbat archives. It was unearthed from the Warsaw ghetto in September 1946. Wasser arrived in Warsaw at the end of 1939 and was active in the Left Po’alei Zion Party and soon became a prominent leader of Warsaw Jewry and then of the ghetto. His chief role was his contribution to the illegal Oneg Shabbat archives, which not only collected documentation but also supplied information to the underground press. The information gathered was also sent abroad and included reports concerning the extermination camps and resistance within the Warsaw ghetto. The entries commenced in December 1940 and continued intermittently until the end of May 1942. His writings include the tragic developments of life in the ghetto: the cruel German persecution, the terror, slave labor, camps, the daily fight for survival, the bitter winter cold, the deportations, the epidemics, etc. Wasser praises Jewish inventiveness and adaptability, the continuation of cultural events despite the harsh ghetto conditions, and the underground’s efforts at resistance. He survived the Holocaust, and together with his wife, immigrated to Israel in 1950, where he died in 1981.