Vedem was written, edited and illustrated entirely by the 40 Jewish boy prisoners who lived in Home #1 and whose ages ranged from 13 to 15 years old. Vedem’s writers defied the Nazi Regime’s practice of iron-clad censorship, which forbade free press. The writers braved hunger, exhaustion, forced labor and homesickness. They would regularly risk their lives by sneaking into forbidden places in the ghetto in order to write their articles.
Because of the potential of being killed for their contributions to Vedem, the magazine’s writers and editors assumed nicknames to conceal their identities. Some nicknames would be in the form of obscure initials, a pseudonym like “Editor’s Office” and “War Correspondent,” or a funny name like “Tiny,” “Cement,” “Baked Glasses,” “Salami” and “Gremlin.” The most prolific contributors eventually referred to themselves as “The Academy.” About 100 boys passed through Home #1 between 1942 and 1944, and many of them are only known by their nicknames.