Faces of Resistance: Women in the Holocaust

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Rachel Auerbach (1903 – 1976)

Rachel Auerbach was a writer and historian. She studied philosophy and psychology in Lviv in the 1920s and later moved to Warsaw, where she worked as a journalist. Following the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, Auerbach was imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto. There she ran a soup kitchen and worked for Emanuel Ringelblum’s underground archive Oyneg Shabes. Auerbach managed to escape from the ghetto in 1943 and survived the war in hiding.
After the war, she continued the work of Oyneg Shabes at the Central Jewish Historical Commission in Poland by ensuring that parts of the archive were retrieved from its hiding places. In 1947, she published a comprehensive account of the extermination camp at Treblinka entitled In the Fields of Treblinka.
In 1950, Auerbach emigrated to Israel, where she led the Yad Vashem Eyewitness Accounts Department. She fought tirelessly to document the stories of victims’ experiences in the Holocaust. In the early 1960s, she also aided the preparations for the trial against Adolf Eichmann and testified in court.