Lodz Ghetto Work ID Cards Indexed


Richard J. Astor, generously funded this significant project to honor the memory of his father, Alec Astor, who was born in Lodz in 1915, lived through the Holocaust and died in London 2006. 

Work in the Lodz Ghetto was the gold currency. Without a labor force, the sealed community could not obtain money for food and other necessities. Everyone, from the youngest child to the elderly, needed to work to survive. These workers obtained Identification Work Cards. 

Those forced into the ghetto were not only from Lodz and surrounding towns; many were brought there from other areas in Poland as well as other occupied Eastern European countries. This database provides family researchers with detailed information about what their family member did on a daily basis in the ghetto in order to (try to) survive.  It also provides scholars, educators, and students of the Holocaust with the variety of  labor that existed in the ghetto. The cards indexed in this project are only those that were issued in January 1943.  Many ghetto inhabitants continued to use the work ID cards they obtained previously and therefore would not be found in this database.  A few survivors went back to get their cards after the war. In some cases, the print on the cards microfilmed was too light to decipher the names, or the back or front of the card was missing.

Volunteers created a computerized index of the Identification Cards, located on 23 rolls of microfilms at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). The file is now a searchable database in the Holocaust Database on JewishGen at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Holocaust. This database will also serve as a finding aide for the Museum. With the ID number and/or worker name, researchers can request a copy of the ID Card directly from the Museum.  Many of the cards contain a photograph of the ghetto worker.

There are between 800 to1200 frames on each of the 23 reels of microfilms.  The cards contain some or all of the following information: a worker number, gender, date of birth, age as of 01-Jan-1943,  ghetto address, a signature of the card owner, date of employment, the learned and trained profession, the type and place of work, and sometimes the name and signature of the job manager. Some cards specify if the worker was allowed on the streets during curfew hours.  Warnings about how the cards should be protected and what to do in case of loss are printed on all the cards.  Some cards are stamped with dates of death or transport.  Many cards include photographs, but these photos cannot be included in the project (although they will be on the copies of the ID cards requested from the USHMM). Please read the Introduction to the database on the Holocaust Database site.

We are very grateful for the generosity of Richard J. Astor who made this project possible.  Nolan Altman and his experienced cadre of indexers graciously agreed to undertake the enormous task of indexing the cards.  A council of volunteer proofreaders meticulously reviewed the indexed files for quality control.   

Roni Seibel Liebowitz

Sample Work ID Cards

Sample One -- Front


Sample One -- Back


Sample Two -- Front

Sample Two -- Back


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