Lending of Ringelblum's milk can to the Washington Holocaust Museum by the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw

Lending of Ringelblum's milk can to the Washington Holocaust Museum by the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw
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This picture was taken in the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw in 1991. Miles Lerman, the first director of the Holocaust Museum (he is in the center), came to Warsaw. They didn't have too much material for the museum, though they had been collecting it all across the globe. And he says: 'I will help you with he archives, but lend us one of Ringelblum's two milk cans.' [Ringelblum's archives - describing the life in the Warsaw and other ghettos - had been stored in three cans in the Warsaw ghetto and two of them were found in 1945.] We (I am the first to the left) did it, lending, as they say, for eternity, being aware that they would never return it. Nevertheless, we insisted that it be a loan. [The milk can was lent for an exhibition to the Holocaust Museum in 1991. The deposit agreement is renewed every 5 years.] I went to Israel for the first time in 1980. I hadn't had any contact with my cousin's family. One day I went to Yad Vashem on the business of the Ringelblum Archive. They wanted us to give them the archive, but we opposed that idea, since without the archive our entire institute [the Jewish Historical Institute] serves no purpose. However, given that the most valuable documents in the Ringelblum Archive were typed or handwritten with carbon copies, as many as five in some cases, and the first copy is almost as legible as the original, I could discuss with them the handing over of the copies. And a deal was reached.

Interview details

Interviewee: Michal Friedman
Anka Grupinska
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Warsaw, Poland


Michal Friedman
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Other Person

Miles Lerman
Jewish name:
Mojsze Pinchos

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