Gift of Sidney and Helen Schlesinger and family
Id no. 2006.A.218, Textile
This tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) was found in a cellar in the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto by Shlomo (Shlamek) Schlesinger in 1944.
Schlesinger was born in 1919 in Dombrowa Gornicza, Poland. During the war his was forced to live in various ghettos and was ultimately deported to Auschwitz.
After four and a half months in Auschwitz, Schlesinger was sent to the Gesia Street Prison in Warsaw in November 1943 to clean up the ruins of the ghetto after the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He found the tallit in a cellar in the ruins of what had been the Warsaw Ghetto.
Schlesinger was then freed from the Gesia Street Prison by the Polish underground and participated in the Polish Warsaw uprising in August 1944, as a medic although he did not have medical training. When the Polish underground gave themselves up, Schlesinger and a group of other Jews with him did not turn themselves in. They stayed in a bunker in Warsaw, until the Soviets came in January 1945.