“What We’ve Been Unable to Shout Out to the World” - opening of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute permanent exhibition

On 14 November, the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute opened its permanent exhibition, “What We’ve Been Unable to Shout Out to the World”, which presents original documents from the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto (the Ringelblum Archive).

Taking part in the opening were the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, along with his wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, professor Piotr Gliński, the Secretary of State and Plenipotentiary for International Dialogue, Anna Maria Anders, UNESCO Representative Karel Fracapane, deputy ambassador of Israel in Poland Ruth Cohen-Dar, as well as donors, historians, curators and researchers from Poland and around the world, and representatives from the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The event was opened by Professor Paweł Śpiewak, Director of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute. He emphasized that the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto is a “testimony of intellect, and the strength of the human will, accomplished through one principle: the principle of truth. The principle of truth means that the voice of every Jew who is killed, who is dying, is heard as a separate, independent voice. And each voice must be written down—presented the way it really is”.

This was followed by a speech by the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda: “I am here today as the President of Poland, as the President of the Polish Republic, because I profoundly believe that telling the truth about the Holocaust of the Jews is our duty. Thus, we continue the work of Emanuel Ringelblum and his associates from Oneg Shabbat”.

During the ceremony, Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Gliński announced his decision to establish a new cultural institution, the Museum of the Warsaw Ghetto, to be located in the former Bersohn and Bauman hospital building on Sienna street in Warsaw: “We spoke to the marshal of the Voivodeship about a 30-year property lease on Sienna Street in Warsaw, where we will build the Museum of the Warsaw Ghetto."

The President of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute, Piotr Wiślicki, emphasized the role of the Association: “The Association is a guardian of the Jewish people’s heritage...This heritage is, in a moral sense, the property of all the Jews who survived—not only from Poland, but from all over the world...So the task of being a guardian is not only a duty, but an honor...We are aware of the significance of this role.” He also thanked the President and the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Prime Minister for criticizing the xenophobic, racist and antisemitic acts that took place several days earlier during the celebrations of the 99th anniversary of Poland gaining its independence.

After the official portion of this event, guests were invited to visit the exhibition.

The exhibition “What We’ve Been Unable to Shout Out to the World” introduces the creators of the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto—Emanuel Ringelblum and his group, Oneg Shabbat—and tells the story of their intellectual resistance to the Nazis and the significance of the documents they collected. The 250m2 exhibition includes original Archival documents that describe the fates of the Ghetto residents, the original milk can which housed one portion of the Archive, and previously unpublished footage from the Ghetto.

The title of the exhibition comes from a quote by Dawid Graber, a 19-year-old member of Oneg Shabbat, as part of a final testimony he attached to the first hidden portion of the Archive. These words, written in both Yiddish and Polish, have become the motto for the exhibition, since the story of Oneg Shabbat is the story of fighting for the memory of the lives and the Holocaust of millions of Polish Jews.

The design of the exhibition, by creative studio “Fish n’ Sheep” is purposefully minimalistic and modest, using mostly gray, black and white tones. The exhibition is curated by the Jewish Historical Institute’s director, professor Paweł Śpiewak, co-curated by Anna Duńczyk-Szulc.

The exhibition is one of the key elements of the Oneg Shabbat Program, realised by the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland. The goal of the program is to commemorate and popularize the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto (the Ringelblum Archive) and to commemorate the members of the Oneg Shabbat group.

The Oneg Szabat program has been initiated on the 70th anniversary of the JHI. It is being realised by the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland within a public-private partnership.