The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Newly Exposed Diaries from the Legacy of Physician Dr. Aharon Pick and Son Tedik from the Shavli Ghetto, Lithuania

In 1992, the diary of physician Dr. Aharon Pick from the Shavli Ghetto was exposed for the first time: Notes from the Valley of Slaughter – Written Notes from the Shavli Ghetto [Lithuania] from the Years 1942, 1943, 1944. Dr. Pick wrote this 293-page diary in pure Hebrew, with the intention of producing a historical document for future generations. It contains important information that systematically describes various aspects of daily life in the ghetto. In my research [Miriam Offer: Medicine and Doctors in the Shavli Ghetto, MA Thesis, University of Haifa, 1993], I emphasized the diary`s contribution to the study of Jewish medicine during the Holocaust, particularly its presentation of the medical ethical issues faced by the ghetto`s physicians and leaders. Several years later, another diary from the ghetto by Pick was exposed―his Yiddish translation of the Hebrew diary. Steadfastly determined to document his memories for future generations and unable to predict the state of the Jewish people after the Holocaust, he recorded his historical project in Yiddish as well. Pick died of an illness in the ghetto about a month before its liquidation. In 2015, additional Holocaust writings were exposed by Dr. Pick and his son Tedik. In this lecture, I will focus on Dr. Pick`s diary, on the diary of his son Tedik (David), who was a member of the underground movement in the Shavli Ghetto, and on a notebook titled Tedik`s Poem`s that was found. We will discuss the new findings and their contribution to research.