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Jewish Historical Institute

The institute is located in the pre-war Main Judaic Library. During World War II, the creators of the underground Warsaw Ghetto Archive met here with historian Emanuel Ringelblum. Colloquially called the Ringelblum Archive, to this day it is one of the most important testimonies about the extermination of Polish Jews, entered by UNESCO on the “Memory of the World” list.

The main exhibition “What we’ve been unable to shout out to the world” takes its title from the words of a 19-year-old member of the Oneg Shabbat group (Hebrew for the Joy of Saturday) Dawid Graber, who wrote it in his testimony. Thanks to the documents, letters, and film recordings, you will learn about the ghetto inhabitants and understand the emotions that accompanied them – fear in the face of death, the desire to maintain the memory of their loved ones, or leave something of themselves behind. You will also see one of the two authentic milk cans that were used to hide the documents underground and learn about the miraculous discovery of the archive after the war.

If you have not been to a synagogue before, visit the second exhibition “Bejt tfila – House of prayer”. You will see traditional furnishings of Polish and German synagogues, including ritual objects, such as a Torah scroll and everyday objects, for example, the keys to the synagogue.

Dwupiętrowa, zabytkowa kamienica z fryzem i zdobionym gzymsem.
Żydowski Instytut Historyczny, fot. Filip Kwiatkowski