Abraham Lewin (1893–1943)

teacher, member of the “Oneg Szabat” group, author of a journal from the Warsaw ghetto

Abraham Lewin was born in 1893 in Warsaw to an Orthodox Jewish family. He lost his father early, which forced him to support his mother and three sisters despite his own young age. In 1916, he was employed as a teacher of Hebrew and Judaic studies at the private Jehudia gymnasium for girls at Długa 55 St. in Warsaw. There he met Emanuel Ringelblum and his future wife, Luba Hotner. In the interwar period, he was an active member of pioneering Zionist organizations associated with what became known as Liberal Zionism (a Zionist movement identifying with the European Jewish middle class).

During the war, he stayed in Warsaw, working in the Jewish Social Self-Help, where he headed the youth commission. With his wife Luba, he also taught in the underground classes of the Jehudia gymnasium. Later, he worked in a shop belonging to the Ostdeutsche Bautichlerei Werkstette carpentry workshop (the so-called OSW shed), at Gęsia 30 St. In January 1942, he became a member of the underground organization “Oneg Shabbat”, where he worked as a copyist of archived documents under the pseudonym “Nowolipie”. He also provided the Archives with interviews with refugees reaching the ghetto.

The most important document submitted by Lewin to the Archives was his diary, covering the period from March 26, 1942 to January 16, 1943. The exact date of Abraham Lewin’s death and its circumstances are unknown. Entries in the diary break off with the hiding of the second part of the Ringleblum Archive.

translated by Adam Grossman