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Original data: Przełożony Starszeństwa Żydow w Getcie Łódzkim [German: Der Aelteste der Juden vom Litzmannstadt-Getto; English: The Eldest of the Jews in the Łódz ghetto, 1939–1944]. RG-15.083M, reels 673–696. Record Group 15, Poland. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.
Prior to the German invasion of Poland, Lodz had a large Jewish population, estimated at approximately 223,000 of the city’s 665,000 residents. The Lodz ghetto was established in February of 1940, and by May it was sealed, with residents not allowed out and outsiders not allowed in.
Leadership of the ghetto was put into the hands of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, who believed that the ghetto's productivity provided its best chance at salvation. Workers labored for food rations that were based on their occupation.
This collection includes details extracted from identification cards for workers in the Lodz ghetto. The records are in German. Details include:
- worker number
- birth date and place
- length of employment
- death date
- factory number
- factory name
- worker assignment at factory
- The collection includes some other cards that may provide additional details, including:
- relation to the head of household
- birth year or age
- card number
- first names of parents
When the Russians liberated the Lodz ghetto, there were only 877 survivors left. The vast majority had died from the harsh conditions or were sent to the killing center at Chelmno, or in the ghetto’s final days, to the extermination camp at Auschwitz.
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Additional details about these victims may be included in the original records. While the index is freely accessible from Ancestry.com, the images of these records are not available in this database. Copies of the images can be ordered at no cost from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Click here for ordering information.