ON SCREEN · FILM
Who Will Write Our History
This remarkable documentary brings to life the heroes of the Oyneg Shabes Archive, the richest cache of eyewitness accounts to survive the Holocaust.
Discussion follows with Rabbi Meir Goldstein and Norwich resident Betty Lauer
“Critic’s Pick! A vital Holocaust documentary … Heartbreaking.” —New York Times
“When lives are brutally at stake on a daily basis, few people think beyond the basic needs of staying alive, but the remarkable individuals revealed in Who Will Write Our History thought posterity was just as important as survival.” Read More >
In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of writers and intellectuals decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group secretly contradicted the Nazi propaganda machine by recording “our disaster and our resistance.” What resulted was a 60,000-article archive providing a startlingly deep and diverse portrait of European Jewish life.
Based on the book by Samuel D. Kassow, this remarkable hybrid documentary mixes the Oyneg Shabes writings with new interviews, rarely-seen archival footage and meticulous historical reenactments to transport us inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. Of the 60 members, only three survived the war and only 2/3 of the Oyneg Shabes Archive has been recovered. For the first time, their story—and the truth—is told.
D: Roberta Grossman, US/Poland, subtitled, 2019, 1h35m
Programmed in partnership with Dartmouth College Hillel in observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day
ABOUT THE ARCHIVE
In 1999, three document collections from Poland were included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register: the masterpieces of Chopin, the scientific works of Copernicus and the Oyneg Shabes Archive. The Oyneg Shabes Archive is the richest cache of eyewitness accounts to survive the Holocaust. Despite its importance, the archive remains largely unknown outside academic circles.