Destination Lodz, the Lizmannstadt Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland

Imagine being a Jewish resident in a small Polish village 70 years ago. The reports coming over the family radio tell of a German blitzkrieg, bombs falling on Warsaw, casualties by the thousands… The Nazis and their secret police are sweeping through every village rooting out Jews and other “undesireables.” You’ve heard rumors of Jews from your cousin’s village dragged from their homes in the dark of night and shot. The Nazi propanda began years ago–through radio, the newspapers, the schools–to make you feel like a subhuman, a rat, a “dirty Jew.” And now your latent fears burst to the surface. What if the dreaded SS raid your village? Will your neighbors rise and resist? Will you and your family survive this nightmare?

In the back of your mind you wonder how this can be possible. Hitlers radio address echoes in your memory, but you never thought he’d act on his insane rhetoric, even after hearing of the terror of Kristalnacht less than one year ago. Surely Hitler couldn’t mean that he was going to rid the world of all Jews. This has to be some sort of horrible fantasy!

But the radio reports shock you back into the present. The German army has surged towards the Vistula River and the angels of death cannot be far behind. It’s time to gather your family’s belongings and plan your escape. But it’s too late, the Nazi officers are beating down your door, forcing you to evacuate and leave your valuables behind. Your destination? Lodz.

Read more about Lodz Ghetto here.

Families move what they can into the Lodz Ghetto

Families move what they can into the Lodz Ghetto


2 Responses to “Destination Lodz, the Lizmannstadt Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland”

  1. This is super, Chris, really well written. I’ve not long finished Saul Friedländer’s The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, so I know a little about the Lodz Ghetto. I found the career of Chaim Rumkowski both interesting and perplexing.

  2. […] to it. Beginning 23 June 1944 and ending 14 July 1944, ten transports carried 7,196 people from Lodz to the death camp at Chelmno. After a brief interruption of the ghetto’s liquidation, […]

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