Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 559
Held at: Wiener Library
Title: Lodz Ghetto: Various papers
Level of description: collection
Extent: c 42 frames
Name of creator(s): Lodz Ghetto
Lodz ghetto or the Ghetto Litzmannstadt was the second-largest ghetto established for Jews and Roma in German-occupied Poland. It was originally intended as a temporary gathering point for Jews but the ghetto became a major industrial centre, providing much needed supplies for Nazi Germany. Because of its remarkable productivity, the ghetto managed to survive until Aug 1944, when the remaining population was transported to Auschwitz. It was the last ghetto in Poland to be liquidated.
Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, who had run a Jewish orphanage before the war, was appointed 'Elder of the Jews' by the Nazis in 1939. He was a man of extraordinary energy and determination, who turned the ghetto into a hive of industry in the vain hope of securing the survival of most of its inhabitants by making them economically too valuable to the German war effort to be murdered. To achieve this aim, he agreed to the introduction and enforcement of a ruthless system of labour exploitation, a permanent state of hunger for most of his workers, and the creation of an utterly degraded class of Jewish collaborators and slave drivers. Having been responsible for the deportation of thousands of ghetto inmates to their deaths - which earned him the label 'collaborator' - Rumkowski was deported with his family to Auschwitz on 30 August 1944, where they were all murdered.
Scope and content/abstract:
Microfilm of facsimile documentation from the Lodz ghetto, 1940s, including material on the controversial role of the chairman of the Judenrat, Mordechai Rumkowski, including printed public ghetto announcements in Yiddish and German dealing with such subjects as food rationing, forged ghetto money, saluting Germans, sanitary conditions, the use of electric cookers, and arrangement for the 're-settlement' of ghetto inmates, 1941-1944; fragment of a calendar covering part of the year 1942, the front bears an image of Rumkowski with the ghetto in the background and the month of January opens with the slogans 'work', 'bread', 'care of the sick', 'protection for the children', 'peace in the ghetto'; plan of Lodz ghetto entitled 'plan of Litzmannstadt showing Jewish populated areas'  and school reports from former pupils of the Humanistischen Lyzeum, Lodz.
ACCESS AND USE
Language/scripts of material: German and Yiddish
System of arrangement:
Conditions governing access:
Conditions governing reproduction:
Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.
Detailed description on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk.
Comprises at least two separate deposits.
Immediate source of acquisition:
Jewish Central Information Office
Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.
Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2008