Who Will Write Our History?

Who Will Write Our History? : Rediscovering a Hidden Archive from the Warsaw Ghetto

4.29 (78 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?


In the Autumn of 1940 the Jews of Warsaw were forced into a crowded ghetto, enduring unimaginable conditions until most were killed. Yet, amid this, one man, Emanuel Ringelblum, started an extraordinary clandestine organization dedicated to recording life under Nazi occupation. His aim: to ensure that, if he died, his people's history would still be written.

Codenamed Oyneg Shabes, this underground group painstakingly gathered together an archive of some 35,000 documents - letters, poems, photographs, personal testimonies, menus, sketches, songs and official papers - which was buried in tin boxes and milk bottles just before the ghetto was razed to the ground. This secret cache lay deep beneath the rubble for years, long after most of the Oyneg Shabes's members had perished, until one of the few survivors led the way to its secret location.

Only now can the story of this incredible historical record, and the people behind it, be fully told. It is a testament to an extraordinary act of defiance in the face of tyranny, and to the triumph of history.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 28mm | 421.84g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 014103968X
  • 9780141039688
  • 250,739

Review quote

"This may be the most important book about history that anyone will ever read."-"The New Republic" "Brilliant. . . . Illuminating and heartbreaking. . . . A heroic act of synthesis and contextualization. . . . Kassow honors the efforts and restores the names of men and women who wrote though they knew their lives and those of their families and even their culture were doomed."-"Los Angeles Times""A rich and complicated study. . . . Surprising and extraordinarily moving."-"Newsday""Magnificent. . . . A stellar exploration of how history . . . can and should be preserved." -Deborah Lipstadt, author of "History on Trial" "If there is one book that should be read this year (or any year) about the Holocaust it is "Who Will Write Our History?""-"Jewish Book World" "A gripping biography. . . . We should be grateful to Professor Kassow for allowing us to share in Ringelblum's heroic efforts."-"Jewish Ledger" "One of the most i
show more

About Samuel D. Kassow

Samuel D. Kassow is the Charles Northam Professor of History at Trinity College. He is the author of Students, Professors, and the State in Tsarist Russia, 1884-1917 and editor (with Edith W. Clowes and James L. West) of Between Tsar and People: The Search for a Public Identity in Tsarist Russia. He has lectured on Russian and Jewish history in many countries, including Israel, Russia and Poland.
show more

Rating details

78 ratings
4.29 out of 5 stars
5 53% (41)
4 31% (24)
3 13% (10)
2 1% (1)
1 3% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X