Hanna Krall: ‘Shielding the Flame’

“Marek Edelman tells Hanna Krall about what happened in the ghetto, how people lived in the ghetto, and tells her about the Great Liquidation Action – the transportation of Jews to Treblinka in 1942 – the Umschlagplatz, and also talks about the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto”, says Dr Wiesława Młynarczyk, chief specialist in the Educational Department of WGM and the creator of the film series ‘The Ghetto in Literature’. The first part of the project is focused on the reportage ‘Shielding the Flame’ by Hanna Krall (1977). This is an interview with Mark Edelman, deputy of Mordechai Anielewicz in the ranks of the Jewish Combat Organization during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; he was once a runner at the Bersohn and Bauman Hospital, who, due to his position, tried to save people from transportation to the Treblinka death camp.

‘The Ghetto in Literature’ brings closer four publications: ‘Shielding the Flame’ by Hanna Krall, ‘Conversations with as Executioner’ by Kazimierz Moczarski, ‘Campo di Fiori’ by Czesław Miłosz and ‘Memories. My version’ by Wacław Izaak Kornblum. The aim of the project is to show the ghetto from three perspectives: victim, executioner and witness – engaged or indifferent. In each episode, those taking part get to know the place where the events occurred, confronting them alongside the Warsaw of today, and interpret literary texts.

The project was completed according to the idea and concept of Dr. Wiesława Młynarczyk from the Education Department of the WGM. It was attended by director Paweł Passini and young people from the theatre group ‘U Machulskich’.

The presentation of the series accompanies the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the closure of the borders of the Warsaw Ghetto, organised by the Warsaw Ghetto Museum together with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the TSKŻ-Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland. The main events took place on November 16, 2020.