The Holocaust

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Five-Mark banknote used in the Lodz ghetto

The Lodz Ghetto in Photos

Click on any photo for a larger view.

The Nazis make a spectacle of religious Jews in Lodz

Soon after the Nazi invasion in 1939, a religious Jew is humiliated by being driven through the streets of Lodz with a sign: "We wanted the war." 

A rabbi from Frankfurt am Main, Germany, being deported from the Lodz ghetto

Jewish policemen lift a sick Jewish man into a wagon for deportation, 1942

Young children at hard labor in the ghetto

Children digging through garbage for food, in the "year of hunger, 1942" 

"The death march of the Jewish children": deportation from the Lodz ghetto to Chelmno death camp, September 1942

"The last journey of the Jews of Lodz": transport destined for Auschwitz in August, 1944, during the final liquidation of the ghetto

 

The Lodz Ghetto in Art and Song

  • Self portrait, by Yitzhok (Vincent) Brauner (1887-1944), Lodz ghetto painter in 1943
  • In the Ghetto of Lodz-Deportation, by Szymon Szerman (1917-Holocaust)
  • Three Children in the Lodz Ghetto, 1944, by Amos Szwarc
  • Portrait of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, by M. Szwarc
  • Geto, Yiddish song from the Lodz ghetto; composer and lyricist unknown; includes English translation
  • Makh Tsu Di Eygelekh, composer: David Beigelman (1887-1945), lyricist: Yeshaya Szpiegel (1911-1969); Yiddish song written after the composer's daughter, Eva, was deported in the huge action in the Lodz ghetto.
  • audio sample of Tsigaynerlid (Real Audio Player required for listening), composer: David Beigelman (1887-1945), violinist, conductor, composer, and theater critic, born into a large musical family in Lodz; wrote orchestra works and songs describing life in the Lodz ghetto and conducted concerts; deported to Auschwitz in 1944, then sent to a slave labor camp, where he died in February, 1945; Tsigaynerlid written as a tribute to some of the Gypsies in the Lodz ghetto attempting to drown their sorrows in song and dance

The Lodz Ghetto in Words

"Friday, September 4, 1942:

    The deportation of children and old people is a fact....There is simply no word, no power, no art able to transmit the moods, the laments, and the turmoil prevailing in the ghetto since early this morning. To say that today the ghetto is swimming in tears would not be mere rhetoric. It would be simply a gross understatement, an inadequate utterance about the things you can see and hear in the ghetto of Litzmannstadt, no matter where you go or look or listen. There is no house, no home, no family which is not affected by this dreadful edict. One person has a child, another an old father, a third an old mother....All hearts are icy, all hands are wrung, all eyes filled with despair. All faces are twisted, all heads bowed to the ground, all blood weeps..."

   "Son of man, go out into the streets. Soak in the unconscious terror of the new-born babies about to be slaughtered. Be strong. Keep your heart from breaking so you'll be able to describe, carefully and clearly, what happened in the ghetto during the first days of September in the year one thousand, nine hundred forty-two."

-- from Days of Nightmare (monograph found after the war)
Jozef Zelkowicz, 1897-1944

Testimonies

January 20, 1945
    "...Daylight blinded us, but we were immediately deliriously happy, hugging and kissing even strangers. We ran through Franciszkanska Street; the ghetto gate was wide open...Of the entire population of the ghetto, more than 200,000 Jews, probably 800 remain, some of them still wearing the Star of David on their chests. Their pale, emaciated faces are very conspicuous. The Germans did not have time to transport even a single Jew to the cemetery. Nine open graves remain waiting."
--from A Diary from the Lodz Ghetto, by Jakub Poznanski, d. 1959
 
 

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