Gratz College hosts special screening for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Molly Daly
January 27, 2019 - 5:34 pm

Molly Daly/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) - To mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, Gratz College hosted the screening of a new documentary about the secret group that chronicled everyday life in the Warsaw Ghetto. It was created by the Nazis in 1940, forcing more than 400,000 Jews into a single neighborhood, sealed by a 10-foot wall topped with barbed wire.

It was part of a global event, more than 300 screenings in 40 countries of "Who Will Write Our History."

Gratz College President Paul Finkelman says it tells the story of Warsaw-based historian Emmanuel Ringleblum.

"He was actually in Switzerland when the war began, and he could've survived the war simply by staying where he was,” he explained. “Instead, he came back to be with his community, and he organized a project to record everything that was going on within the ghetto."

The clandestine organization, which included historians, writers, rabbis an social workers, conducted interviews, and kept diaries of everyday life, from the tragedies the triumphs. They hid the material in metal containers and buried them. 

"In the end, with the revolt of the Warsaw Ghetto, some of them fought their way out, some managed to escape and join Polish underground or the Russian army,” he said. “But unfortunately, most of them were sent to extermination camps, and murdered."

But thanks to the heroic efforts of Ringelblum and his team, their stories live on.