Time Capsules in the Rubble: The Secret Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto


Sunday, April 2, 2017 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm


  • Dr. Samuel Kassow


Kehilat Shalom

Program Series: 

  • Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman Distinguished Scholar Series

During World War II Jews resisted not only with guns but also with pen and paper. Even in the face of death they left "time capsules" full of documents that they buried under the rubble of ghettos and death camps. They were determined that posterity would remember them on the basis of Jewish and not German sources. The Ringelblum archive in the Warsaw Ghetto buried thousands of documents. But of the 60 people who worked on this national mission, only three survived. This will be their story.

Dr. Samuel D. Kassow (born 1946) is an American historian of the history of Ashkenazi Jewry. He was born in a displaced persons' camp in Stuttgard, Germany and grew up in New Haven, Connecticut.  Kassow earned his B.A. from Trinity  College, Hartford, Connecticut in 1966, his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics in 1968, and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1976.

In his books, Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive From the Warsaw Ghetto and Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, Kassow speaks about the importance of preserving historical documents and the past. He describes the historical events occurring during World War II in the 1940s that affected and eventually eliminated the Warsaw Ghetto. His main focus is the three archives created in absolute secrecy by a small group of people that lived in the Warsaw Ghetto which were uncovered and studied about ten years later.[6]

His 2007 book Who Will Write Our History is currently being adapted to a documentary film of the same title, directed by Roberta Grossman and produced by Nancy Spielberg. It is set to be released in 2017.

This event will be co-sponsored by and held at:

Kehilat Shalom
9915 Apple Ridge Road
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20886

There is no cost for this event, but we request that you register.