Lodz-Names

A Record of the 200,000 Inhabitants of the Lodz Ghetto

Contents

See also:

Lodz-Names: List of the Ghetto Inhabitants, 1940-1944

Availability

Library of Congress Call No.: DS135 .P62 L6424  1994X  (or DS135 .P62 L64414 1994)

The records of the Judenrat of the Lodz ghetto are an extremely valuable database, consisting of the movements and fate of the 200,000 inhabitants of the Lodz ghetto from February 1940 to August 1944. This five-volume work was published jointly by the Organization of Former Residents of Lodz in Israel (OFRLI) and Yad Vashem as Lodz-Names: List of the Ghetto Inhabitants, 1940-1944, in 1994 (other titles: Lodz - shemot: reshimat toshvei ha-geto, 1940-1944; Shemot Lodz). It is at once a memorial to the victims of Nazi brutality and a genealogical treasure. 

Not only was the Lodz ghetto the longest existing ghetto in Poland, but the surviving records are the most detailed of any Polish ghetto. The five volumes were published in the following format:  four original volumes plus the supplementary volume. There is also a one-page addendum of additional names. 

One can not overemphasize the importance and usefulness of these records. On my first trip to Yad Vashem, I asked about Lodz records and was directed to these volumes in the library. Within minutes, I found the names, birth, deportation dates or death dates of my grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, my father and his first wife. Most importantly, there, in black and white, was the name and birth date of the child my father lost -- information I always thought was irretrievable.

It is worth going into some detail about this book to demonstrate how useful it is. The records were originally organized by ghetto address. Before the list was published, the data was reorganized by surname and given name, in alphabetical order. Each row consists of nine columns, with the following information:

(1) Surname, in alphabetical order
(2) Maiden name (occasionally)
(3) Given name
(4) Sex
(5) Date of birth
(6) Occupation (usually in German, also in Polish)
(7) Ghetto address
(8) Apartment number
(9) Notes: This section may include previous address* or town**, date of death or deportation (and possibly the transport number).

*Lodz street names are listed as renamed by the Germans in 1939-1940. To find the equivalent Polish street names, see: Dobroszycki, Lucjan, ed. The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto: 1941-1944. New Haven: University Press, 1984. (see Appendix, pp. 537-539)

**Many towns were renamed by the Germans in 1939-1940. Equivalent Polish town names may be found in Lodz Ghetto Deportations and Statistics, Table C.

In the ninth column, Notes, German or Polish abbreviations are used to denote the movements or fate of the individual.

ABBREVIATIONS IN LODZ NAMES

German or Polish

English

ABG + date Change of registration to new address
AG or A.G. + date Change of registration to new address, or deportation (to Chelmno); AG may be used as an abbreviation of either "Abgang" or "Ausgang"
AGE (unknown)
A.M. (unknown)
ANG Change of registration to new address
AUSG + date Deportation (to Chelmno)
AUSG TR + date Deportation with transport number (to Chelmno)
DO Domicile
DOM Domicile
GEST Died
OMYLK WPIS Mistaken entry
PRZ do M + No. Moved to moved to app. no. in same house
PRZ dom + No. Moved to other house in same street
S. See, compare
SIEHE See, compare
UBERMEL Relocated
UM Relocated, moved
UMG Relocated, moved
WYM + date Change of registration to new address
ZAM Registered
ZMARL Died

In August 1944, the Nazis dissolved the Judenrat and the ghetto was liquidated. Thus, no entries were made about the fate of those deported to Auschwitz in the ghetto's last days. The absence of such information is a clue in itself, however, especially if there is evidence the individual was still alive in 1944. The Talman family below is such an example.

At first glance, it may be difficult to determine who is related to whom. However, by reorganizing the data back to its original format, by ghetto address, family units might emerge:

 

TALMANS LIVING AT GHETTO ADDRESS
HANSEATEN 12

TALMAN, Joel Icek [m], b. 1886, of Lowenstadt [Brzeziny]; occupation: "fuhrman" [driver]; ghetto address was Hanseaten 12; "Gest." [died] 23 March 1943 in the ghetto.

TALMAN, Chana [nee' TOPOLOWICZ], b. 1892, of Lowenstadt; occupation: "hausfrau" [housewife]; "ABG" [moved] to ghetto address Hanseaten 12 on 7 April 1944 [no further information on her fate].

TALMAN, Marjem [f], b. 1913, of Lowenstadt; occupation: "schneider" [cutter or tailor]; "ABG" [moved] to ghetto address Hanseaten 12 on 7 April 1944 [no further information on her fate].

TALMAN, Elka [f], b. 1926, of Lowenstadt; occupation: "schneider" [cutter or tailor]; "ABG" [moved] to ghetto address Hanseaten 12 on 7 April 1944 [no further information on her fate].


By further grouping all eleven individuals with the surname TALMAN by ghetto address one may reasonably assume there were three distinct families with this surname in the ghetto.

A copy of the ghetto list is maintained in the office of the co-publisher of the book: Organization of Former Residents of Lodz in Israel (OFRLI), 158 Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv 63461, Israel. Lodz-Names: List of the Ghetto Inhabitants, 1940-1944 and the records of the Judenrat of the Lodz ghetto may be available in additional libraries or in the possession of organizations unknown at the present time.

Other Sources of Ghetto Records

Even though the records contained in Lodz-Names: List of the Ghetto Inhabitants, 1940-1944, are very extensive, they do not contain a complete list of every Jew incarcerated in the Lodz ghetto.

The extant records of the new cemetery, from 1892 to August 1944, are an excellent source of genealogical information. The Lodz Chevra Kadisha continued to record burials of those who died in the ghetto (some 43,000 to 60,000 victims), right up until the liquidation of the ghetto in August, 1944. Most of these victims were buried in the Pole Gettowa (or Ghetto Field) in the cemetery. Some ghetto victims were buried in other parts of the cemetery, or in unknown locations. Fortunately, the Chevra Kadisha records have survived. 

The "Pole Gettowe" or Ghetto Field in the New Lodz Cemetery

 

In some instances, the cemetery records can supplement information found in the ghetto list, Lodz-Names: List of Ghetto Inhabitants, 1940-1944, by supplying the father's name of those listed in the ghetto records and buried in the cemetery. Some ghetto victims whose names are not found at all in Lodz-Names: List of Ghetto Inhabitants, 1940-1944 are found in the cemetery records. This is evidence that the published ghetto records are an incomplete list of all Jews incarcerated in the ghetto. Limitations of the cemetery records are the lack of maiden names of married women and, occasionally, missing father's names. 

These valuable records are held by two entities: the Jewish community of Lodz and the Organization of Former Residents of Lodz in Israel. The best way to obtain information from these entities is an on-site visit, either by yourself or your representative. Be prepared to offer a donation along with your request. For more information, see The New Cemetery in Lodz.

See this site for information on additional records of the Lodz ghetto contained in the Lodz Archives. Transport lists of Jews deported to the Lodz ghetto from other countries may contain names of individuals not listed in Lodz-Names: List of Ghetto Inhabitants, 1940-1944.

For further information, see:

  • Meshenberg, Michael J. "Lodz Ghetto and Cemetery Lists." Avotaynu, Spring 1995.
 
Shirley Rotbein Flaum
 
 

PLEASE REFER ALL INQUIRIES TO THE LODZ AREA RESEARCH GROUP MAILING LIST
WEBSITE PROBLEMS ONLY SHOULD BE REFERRED TO THE WEBMASTER.

Hosted by JewishGen, Inc.
Copyright 1999-2003 Shirley Rotbein Flaum, 2004-2015 Roni Seibel Liebowitz. All rights reserved.
Lodz ShtetLinks site founded by Shirley Rotbein Flaum (webmaster 1999-2004)