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Book Talk: The Jewish Revolt by Rachel Auerbach, with Professor Antony Polonsky

April 18 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Rachel Auerbach (1903 – 1976) was born in the Galician city of Łanowce, and in the 1920s studied philosophy and psychology in Lviv. She then moved to Warsaw and worked as a journalist. In the 1940s, Auerbach ran a soup kitchen in the Warsaw Ghetto, and was involved in the creation of Emanuel Ringelblum’s underground archive Oyneg Shabes (‘The Joy of Sabbath’) in the ghetto. She witnessed the 1943 uprising, and managed to escape, surviving in hiding.

Auerbach wrote Der Yidisher Oyfshtand: Varshe 1943 (The Jewish Revolt: Warsaw 1943) in 1948. it was first published in Yiddish in Warsaw. This book has now been translated and published in English for the first time.

Rachel Auerbach was one of the three post-war survivors of the underground Oyneg Shabbes. This book aimed both to commemorate the Jewish fighters who took up arms in the first major act of resistance to the Nazis and to describe the course of their revolt.

Auerbach produced a large corpus of work on the fate of the Jews under Nazi occupation, including Yizker, a moving lament for the Jews of Warsaw written in 1943, almost none of which has been translated into English. It is our hope that its publication will stimulate interest in the work of this important writer.

About the Speaker

Antony Polonsky is Professor Emeritus at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of Global Education Outreach Project of  the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw. His most recent work is The Jews in Poland and Russia volume 1, 1350 to 1881; volume 2 1881 to 1914; volume 3, 1914 to 2008 (Oxford, 2010, 2012), published in 2013 in an abridged version The Jews in Poland and Russia. A Short History (2014), which has been translated into French, Polish and Lithuanian.

In 1999, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Independent Lithuania. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Warsaw (2010), the Jagiellonian University (2014) and the Polish University Abroad (Polski Uniwersytet na obczyźnie, 2022).


The re-publication of The Jewish Revolt was supported by The Jewish Brand. The Jewish Brand is a charity that is building with world-beating web 3 technology a world-wide Jewish community platform. It’s a dynamic hub uniting global Jewish communities through creativity. Via new tech, social media, streaming, and an interactive marketplace, we advance Jewish culture, promote unity, and combat antisemitism. Join us as we make history, leaving an indelible mark on Jewish heritage and beyond.

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