Movie chiefs producing first translation of seminal history of Warsaw
A group of filmmakers and Holocaust chroniclers have appealed for support to publish the seminal work on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.
Rachel Auerbach’s essay Yizkor and her book The Jewish Revolt have been translated from into English for a book, online resource and audio book.
Historian Professor Antony Polonsky is to write the introduction to the book. And if the war ends in Ukraine, the publishers aim to ask Volodymyr Zelenskyy to write the forward – Auerbach was born in what is now present-day Ukraine.
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SS soldiers near the ghetto wall February 1943
Auerbach’s work is a vital work recounting the history of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943.
Born in Lanovtsy, she was a prolific Jewish writer, historian and essayist.
She was one of three surviving members of the covert Oyneg Shabes group, led by Emanuel Ringelblum, who were responsible for chronicling life in the Ghetto during the German occupation in the Ringelblum Archive.
Auerbach (1903-1976) led the effort to excavate the buried archive after the war, and later, after emigrating to Israel, she directed the Yad Vashem Department for the Collection of Witness Testimony, from 1954 to 1968.
The book with a series of photographs, starting with Jewish children and families in pre-war Poland, when life was settled and relatively safe.
Pictures will also document the war and subsequent deterioration of Jewish life, showing the construction of the Ghetto and re-settlement there.
Typhus, starvation and finally deportations left the Ghetto nearly empty.
The book will also have Yizkor, Auerbach’s powerful Remembrance of the Jews who were destroyed, with pictures.
The text of the Jewish Revolt, which runs to 94 pages, also with photos, is designed to speak to readers who know little or nothing about the Warsaw Ghetto.
Among those leading the project are Neil Blair, JK Rowling’s agent and a Warner Bros executive who worked on movies Band of Brothers and Eyes Wide Shut.
Also involved are film producer Mark Forstater (Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Cannes official selection movie Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea) and Nathan Neuman (The Man with Four Legs, Swipe Fever).
Simon Bentley, for 10 years chairman of Yad Vashem UK Foundation, is also a consulting partner.
To donate, email Mark@dreambird.co