The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto recorded the daily happenings of the people living in the Lodz Ghetto.
The Chronicle provides an insight into the would-be forgotten events of the ghetto.
The idea of the chronicle was born to provide more jobs and therefore more food rationings to the Jews.
Every day, the weather, births and deaths, and other important events were chronicled.
The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto Saturday, January 12, 1941 WEATHER Ten degrees below zero. No wind. Sunny. DEATHS AND BIRTHS Today 52 people died in the ghetto. The principal cause of death was heart disease, followed by exhaustion from hunger and cold, with tuberculosis in third place. Fourteen births were registered (seven boys and seven girls)
Other youth in the ghetto established political and cultural groups.
Public lectures, poetry readings, and musical performances, including performances by and for children, also provided relief from the hunger and poverty
“ It was forbidden to gather more than three or five people. It was punishable by death, but we were sometimes even fifteen teenagers, and we were then in Palestine for this hour with the organization. This was the land of Israel; we were not in the ghetto. I never had such marvelous hours. I ran to my organization and there I forgot. The life was different there. There, I saw the blue sky with stars. The sky of the land of Israel.” -Jutta Szmirgeld, age 14
Notice anything different about this photo…? Unlike most photos of the Holocaust, this one is in color. Walter Genewein , the Nazi’s chief accountant, had found a camera and ordered color film “for official purposes”. His photos disappeared for a while, but where found in a Vienna bookstore in 1987
Rumkowski gave one of his most chilling speeches on September 4, 1942.
He was given the task to tell the people of Lodz that 25,000 Jews under the age of 10, and over 65 must be resettled out of the ghetto.
An excerpt of his speech follows.
“ In my old age, I must stretch out my hands and beg: Brothers and sisters! Hand them over to me! Fathers and mothers: Give me your children! “ Yesterday afternoon, they gave me the order to send more than 20,000 Jews out of the ghetto… I must perform this difficult and bloody operation - I must cut off limbs in order to save the body itself. I must take children because, if not, others may be taken as well. “ There are, in the ghetto, many patients who can expect to live only a few days more, maybe a few weeks. I don't know if the idea is diabolical or not, but I must say it: Give me the sick. In their place we can save the healthy... Each of us feeds the sick at the expense of our own health: we give our bread to the sick. We give them our meager ration of sugar, our little piece of meat. And what's the result? Not enough to cure the sick, and we ourselves become ill. Of course, such sacrifices are the most beautiful and noble. But there are times when one has to choose: sacrifice the sick, who haven't the slightest chance of recovery and who also may make others ill, or rescue the healthy.”