By Jan Friedmann
Spiegel Online, July 23, 2010
Photo: "Jewish men, women and children being marched out of the Warsaw Ghetto in May 1943." (DPA)
'These materials tell a collective story of steady decline and unending humiliation, interspersed with many stories of quiet heroism and self-sacrifice,' writes American historian Samuel Kassow. His book 'Who Will Write Our History?: Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto,' which has now been published in German translation, throws a new light on the exceptional source material. Jews also collected documents and wrote diaries elsewhere in Europe during the Holocaust, but the Warsaw archive is the most comprehensive and descriptive collection of all. The Polish capital was home to Europe's largest Jewish community, which became a magnet for many talented scientists and writers. As one female author wrote, she hoped that her account would be 'driven under the wheel of history like a wedge.' Contributions like hers would turn the clandestine archive into probably the most nightmarish body of text ever written about the Holocaust. [...]"