Oneg Shabbat (Hebrew: Joy of Shabbat) was a clandestine network formed by Emanuel Ringelblum. Its aim was to document the fate of Polish Jewry under German occupation. The members meticulously researched and gathered personal accounts, public records, signage, ephemera and artifacts, now referred to as the Ringelblum Archive or the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto. It is the largest and one of the most important collections gathered in “real time” about the treatment and extermination of Polish Jews during the Holocaust.
We get a glimpse into Emanuel’s research process from one of his reports:
“As head of the Jewish Self-Help welfare organization (which was known then as the Coordinating Committee of the welfare organizations), I had daily personal contact with the life around me. Information reached me on everything that happened to Jews in Warsaw or the suburbs. The Coordinating Committee was at that time a branch of the Joint, and delegations from the smaller towns arrived almost daily to describe the difficulties experienced by the Jewish population. Whatever I heard in the course of the day I wrote down in the evening, and added my observations. In time these daily records made up a good-sized book of some hundreds of closely written pages, a mirror of that time. The daily records were replaced first by weekly summaries, and later monthly summaries.”