March 24 POLAND: Scrolls found in secret Warsaw ghetto synagogue.
The three Books of Esther scrolls survived the liquidation of the ghetto
following the 1943 uprising and remained hidden until recently, when the
collapse of a wall in an old building revealed the synagogue.
Three Books of Esther scrolls that survived the Holocaust and were read on
Purim were recently discovered in a hidden synagogue at the Warsaw ghetto,
which was found after a wall in an old building in the ghetto collapsed.
The scrolls were found by researchers at the Shem Olam Institute, also known as
the Faith & Holocaust Institute for Education Documentation and Research in
This week they were transferred to a special storage archive at the institute.
Two of the scrolls were found in a relatively good condition considering the
events of the period, while an additional scroll was found burnt and almost
The entire ghetto was liquidated in April 1943 after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
and burned down by the Nazis. Those who survived the uprising were transferred
to the Treblinka death camp, where the vast majority were brutally murdered.
Rabbi Avraham Krieger, head of Shem Olam, said: “The more we investigate the
life of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, we discover the courage and mental
strength the Jews exhibited to keep the faith alive despite the grief and the
threat of death that surrounded them from all directions. These scrolls, which
relate the Jews’ miraculous rescue from those who sought their destruction,
survived the Nazi hell.”