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Gallery 7: Holocaust, 1939–1944

On 22 November 1940, Emanuel Ringelblum, a historian and social activist, established an underground archive, Oyneg Shabes (Joy of Sabbath), in the Warsaw ghetto. Risking their lives, the team collected every shred of evidence, from official German notices and to ration tickets and diaries, in an effort to “provide an all-encompassing picture … of what the Jewish population experienced, thought, and suffered.” Ringelblum wrote these words in his diary at the end of January 1943. Excerpts from his diary, in YiddishYiddishthe historic Jewish vernacular of Ashkenazi Jews, a fusion of German dialects, Hebrew and Aramaic, and Judeo-Romance and Slavic languages. The beginnings of Yiddish are in the Rhineland in the Middle Ages. About 13 million people spoke Yiddish before the Second World War., appear vis-à-vis quotations from Adam Czerniaków diary, in Polish. Czerniaków was head of the Judenrat.