Pawel’s Story: Chapter 2, Part 1

Chapter 2

: Page 1 of 2

The Nazis gradually transferred all of the Jews of Lodz into a specific area of town. It was no accident that this area was the worst part of the city. By May 1, 1940 all of the Jews of Lodz had been moved into this area, known as the ghetto, and Nazis were ordered to shoot without warning any Jew who tried to escape. The Lodz Ghetto was among the first major ghettos established by the Nazis in large cities during the Holocaust.

Pawel’s family was desperate for a decent place to live in the ghetto, where the population density was much greater than it had been before the war. Every family lived with an average of 5 or 6 people per room. Much of the ghetto had neither running water nor a sewer system. Conditions were appalling.

Testimony: “The Ghetto”

“The walls would get snowy and glistened from the cold.”

—Pawel Hodys

The Nazis set up a Jewish Council, called the Judenrat, and they appointed Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski to be in charge. In his management of the ghetto, Rumkowski believed that he also had the opportunity to protect the Jews of Lodz. Rumkowski believed that if the ghetto had factories that produced useful goods, the inhabitants would be safe from the Nazis.

Drawing depicting Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, head of the Lodz Ghetto Judenrat.

Drawing depicting Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, head of the Lodz Ghetto Judenrat.

Chapter 2

: Page 1 of 2


Skip to toolbar