Rokhl Auerbakh’s determination to record everything she witnessed in the Holocaust led to her creating the questionnaires to capture other survivors’ stories for war crime trials and Holocaust memorials. Auerbakh did graduate studies in psychology, philosophy and history at the Jan Kazimierz University of Lemberg before beginning her journalism career in 1925 as a writer for the Polish daily Chwila. By the late 1920s she was editor of the Yiddish journals Nayer Morgn and Folk un Tsion. After moving to Warsaw in 1933 she continued to write for Yiddish and Polish publications. But during the German occupation, she worked as director of a soup kitchen in the Warsaw Ghetto for three years and documented the social and psychological effects of the war on those she served. After escaping the ghetto in 1943 she wrote essays to raise Polish awareness of ghettos and concentration camps. In 1945 she joined a fact-finding mission investigating Nazi war crimes at Treblinka and created guides for taking survivor testimony. After making Aliyah in 1950, she became founding director of Yad Vashem’s department for the collection of witness testimony, creating new methodologies for preserving survivors’ accounts.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Rokhl Auerbakh." (Viewed on February 22, 2018) <https://jwa.org/people/auerbakh-rokhl>.