In 1939, Warsaw was home to the second largest Jewish community in the world. Of the 489,000 people who passed through the ghetto in the years that followed its creation in 1940, fewer than 10% survived. But this book is not about the statistics, horrifying though they are. It is a unique and never before published record of life in the ghetto by the men and women who experienced it. Most of the accounts were written during the war, some by anonymous authors, many by writers who later disappeared - their writings were found in the rubble of ruined buildings, in attics or basements, or else passed from hand to hand until they found their way into the archives. They describe the creation of the ghetto, how it was run, the struggle for shelter and food, collaboration and resistance, and the round-ups which led the unknowing victims to almost certain death in Treblinka. This book stands as a collective memoir of one of modern history's darkest episodes.
The late Michal Grynberg, a noted Polish scholar of the Holocaust, devoted decades of his life to compiling and publishing firsthand accounts from ghettos throughout Poland. Philip Boehm is a playwright, theatre director, and author of numerous translations from Polish and German.