Who Will Edit Their History? in Yad Vashem Studies, Volume 40:1

Stephan Lehnstaedt


Who Will Edit Their History? The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and the Ringelblum Archives: Magdalena Tarnowska, ed., Życie i twórczość Geli Seksztajn (= Archiwum Ringelbluma, vol. 4); Katarzyna Person, ed., Getto warszawskie. Życie codzienne (= Archiwum Ringelbluma, vol. 5); Tadeusz Epsztein, ed., Inwentarz Archiwum Ringelbluma

Warsaw’s Jewish Historical Institute holds the collections of “Oyneg Shabes”, gathered in the famous Ringelblum archive, one of the largest collections of documents authored by Jews during the Holocaust. Recently, three volumes have been published concerning these materials: One archival guide and two books with edited documents on everyday life in the Warsaw ghetto and on the painter Gela Seksztajn. All three volumes are valuable contributions, visually attractive and with a summary in English. However, due to the quite selective choice of documents, one has to ask what the books accomplish in the sense of the planned complete edition of the Ringelblum Archives materials. The neglect of questions of arrangement and classification of materials is quite obvious; thus, this article pleads for a systematic and complete reproduction of all the Ringelblum holdings and discusses some ideas how to do so.