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Wiener Library

Lodz Ghetto: Various papers


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 559

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Lodz Ghetto: Various papers

Date(s): 1940s

Level of description: collection

Extent: c 42 frames

Name of creator(s): Lodz Ghetto


Administrative/Biographical history:

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' [1940] and school reports from former pupils of the Humanistischen Lyzeum, Lodz.


Language/scripts of material: German and Yiddish

System of arrangement:

Not arranged

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Detailed description on the Wiener Library's online catalogue



Archival history:

Comprises at least two separate deposits.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Jewish Central Information Office


Related material:

Publication note:


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

Concentration camps | War crimes | Humanitarian law
Holocaust | Genocide | War crimes | Humanitarian law
Jews | Religious groups
Occupied territories | Humanitarian law
Racial segregation | Interethnic relations
Third Reich | Nazism | Totalitarianism | Political doctrines
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)
Racial discrimination

Personal names

Corporate names
Lodz ghetto, Poland

Lodz | Poland | Eastern Europe