At the outbreak of World War II, the Jewish community of Łódź, Poland numbered nearly 200,000, roughly 30% of the city’s population. It was the second largest Jewish community in Poland, and one of the largest in the world. Within a few months of the Nazi invasion, the Germans established a ghetto in the northeastern section of Łódź and all of the city’s Jews were forced to move there.
Like other ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe, the inhabitants of the Łódź ghetto suffered from horrendous living conditions and were forced to support the Nazi war-effort through manual labor. Unlike other ghettos, however, all aspects of daily life were ruled directly by the ghetto administration (Judenrat) and its head, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski. Viewed as a controversial figure for his compliance with Nazi orders and strict policies in the ghetto, Rumkowski was in charge of maintaining order in the ghetto and fulfilling Nazi demands. Although his efforts to preserve the ghetto eventually proved fruitless, the Łódź ghetto existed until it was liquidated in August 1944 when the surviving residents were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The following bibliography was compiled to guide readers to materials on the Łódź ghetto that are in the Library’s collection. It is not meant to be exhaustive. Annotations are provided to help the user determine the item’s focus, and call numbers for the Museum’s Library are given in parentheses following each citation. Those unable to visit might be able to find these works in a nearby public library or acquire them through interlibrary loan. Follow the “Find in a library near you” link in each citation and enter your zip code at the Open WorldCat search screen. The results of that search indicate all libraries in your area that own that particular title. Talk to your local librarian for assistance.
Ayer, Eleanor H. In The Ghettos: Teens Who Survived the Ghettos of the Holocaust. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 1999. (D 804.195 .A94 1999) [Find in a library near you]
Chronicles the lives of three teenagers who survived the Holocaust, one of which was in the Łódź ghetto. Includes illustrations, a glossary, bibliography, index, maps, and a timeline. Part of the Teen Witnesses to the Holocaust series, this item is written for young readers.
Baldwin, Margaret. The Boys Who Saved The Children. New York: J. Messner, 1981. (DS 135 .P63 E3362 1981) [Find in a library near you]
Relates the experiences of several youths who tried to help other children avoid deportation from the ghetto. Includes illustrations. Written for young readers.
Barkai, Avraham. “Between East and West: Jews from Germany in the Lodz Ghetto.” Yad Vashem Studies 16 (1984): 271-322. (DS 135 .E83 Y3 v.16) [Find in a library near you]
Considers the experiences of German Jews who were deported to the Łódź ghetto in October 1941 and their relations with the native-born Polish Jews. Includes statistical charts and footnotes.
Bodenheimer, Riki. “A Legend About a Prince in Lodz Ghetto.” Yalkut Moreshet 2, (Winter 2004): 145-171. (DS 101 .Y26513 v.2) [Find in a library near you]
Discusses a children’s play written and performed in the ghetto. Includes illustrations and endnotes.
Flam, Gila. Singing for Survival: Songs of the Lodz Ghetto, 1940-45. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992. (ML 3776 .F62 1992) [Find in a library near you]
Analyzes the music and songs created and performed in the ghetto. Includes musical examples and original lyrics with their translations as well as a glossary of terms, bibliography, list of songs, and an index.
Kogler, Robert T. A., and Andrea Löw. “The Encyclopedia of the Lodz Ghetto.” Kwartalnik Historii Żydow 206 (2003): 195-208. (DS 135 .P6 Z9 2003) [Find in a library near you]
Announces the discovery and initial review of portions of an encyclopedia of ghetto life created in Łódź in 1944. Discusses the materials found and plans for long term research projects in this area. Includes footnotes.
Marrus, Michael Robert, editor. The Victims of the Holocaust. Westport, CT: Meckler, 1989. (Reference D 810 .J4 N38 1989 v.6) [Find in a library near you]
Collection of essays, four of which consider Rumkowski’s leadership of the ghetto, ghetto life, and the experiences of German Jews in the Łódź ghetto. Each essay includes footnotes.
Morgenstern, Naomi, and Carmit Sagie. The Legend of the Lodz Ghetto Children: Study Unit for Grades 10-12: Teacher’s Handbook. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1997. (Oversize DS 135 .P6 S23 1997) [Find in a library near you]
Curricular unit designed to present the text and drawings from a work created in one of the ghetto workshops. Includes the text and illustrations from the Legend, suggestions for classwork, and excerpts from primary sources.
Plotkin, Diane. “Smuggling in the Ghettos: Survivor Accounts from the Warsaw, Łódź, and Kraków Ghettos.” In Life in the Ghettos During the Holocaust, edited by Eric J. Sterling, 84-119. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2005. (D 804.3 .L535 2005) [Find in a library near you]
Presents eyewitness testimony and archival findings in order to document and describe food smuggling activities in three different ghettos. Includes illustrations, endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.
Podolska, Johanna. The Children of the Łódź Ghetto: Exhibition, August 2004, on the 60th Anniversary of the Liquidation of the Łódź Ghetto. Łódź: Bilbo, 2004. (D 804.48 .L6413 2004) [Find in a library near you]
Reproduces images and primary source documents displayed as part of a special exhibition commemorating the liquidation of the Łódź ghetto. Includes English translations from diaries written by teenagers in the ghetto.
Podolska, Johanna. Traces of the Litzmannstadt Getto: A Guide to the Past. Łódź: Piatek Trzynastego, 2004. (DS 135 .P62 L64416613 2004) [Find in a library near you]
Combines chronologies, maps, illustrations, and a list of street names to provide a concise tour of the former ghetto.
Rosenthal, Gabriele, Michal Dasberg, and Yael Moore. “The Collective Trauma of the Lodz Ghetto: The Goldstern Family.” In The Holocaust in Three Generations: Families of Victims and Perpetrators of the Nazi Regime, edited by Gabriele Rosenthal, 51-68. London: Cassell, 1998. (D 804.195 .H65 1998) [Find in a library near you]
Discusses the effects of trauma and suffering within three generations of a family that survived the Łódź ghetto. Includes a genogram, endnotes, glossary, and a bibliography.
Shapiro, Robert Moses, editor. “Lodz.” In Holocaust Chronicles: Individualizing the Holocaust Through Diaries and Other Contemporaneous Personal Accounts, 93-154. Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1999. (D 804.18 .H67 1999) [Find in a library near you]
Analyzes accounts of the Łódź ghetto as presented in memoirs, diaries, photographs, and songs. Includes images, endnotes, and a bibliography.
Analyzes five Holocaust diaries, including Dawid Sierakowiak’s Łódź ghetto diary and considers the extent to which the writers could concentrate on personal goals while in hiding or in the ghettos and camps. Includes a bibliography.
Sinnreich, Helene Julia. “The Supply and Distribution of Food to the Łódź Ghetto: A Case Study in Nazi Jewish Policy, 1939-1945.” PhD diss., Brandeis University, 2004. (DS 135 .P62 L64439 2004) [Find in a library near you]
Analyzes Nazi food distribution policy as a tool of genocide. Considers distribution methods and policies in Łódź, including the role of the black market, in order to emphasize the fact that the Nazis did not provide adequate sustenance to the ghetto inhabitants. Includes endnotes and a bibliography.
Trunk, Isaiah. Łódź Ghetto: A History. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2006. (DS 135 .P62 L645313 2006) [Find in a library near you]
Comprehensive examination of the history of the Łódź ghetto based on primary source material. Includes translations of primary source documents, maps, endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.
Unger, Michal, editor. The Last Ghetto: Life in the Lodz Ghetto, 1940-1944. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1995. (Oversize DS 135 .P62 L64328 1995) [Find in a library near you]
Catalog of an exhibition documenting life in the ghetto. Includes numerous photographs and primary source material. In English and Hebrew.
Unger, Michal. “Religion and Religious Institutions in the Lodz Ghetto.” In Remembering for the Future: Holocaust in an Age of Genocide, edited by John K. Roth and Elisabeth Maxwell, 335-351. New York: Palgrave, 2001. (D 804.18 .R46 2001) [Find in a library near you]
Analyzes the activities of religious organizations within the Łódź ghetto with emphasis on the rabbinate and the observance of holy days. Includes endnotes.
Unger, Michal. “The Status and Plight of Women in the Lodz Ghetto.” In Women in the Holocaust, edited by Dalia Ofer and Lenore J. Weitzman, 123-142. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998. (D 804.47 .W66 1998) [Find in a library near you]
Discusses the role of women in the ghetto and the nature of their working conditions. Provides statistics and endnotes.
Witte, Peter. “Two Decisions Concerning the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Question’: Deportations to Lodz and Mass Murder in Chelmno.” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 9, no. 3, (1995): 318-345. (D 810 .J4 H6428 v.9) [Find in a library near you]
Discusses the deportation of German Jews to Łódź in light of other deportations and in relationship to the development of the final solution. Includes endnotes.
Explore our comprehensive entries on the events, people, and places of the Holocaust.
Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski
Eichengreen, Lucille. Rumkowski and the Orphans of Lodz. San Francisco: Mercury House, 2000. (DS 135 .G5 E322 2000) [Find in a library near you]
Relates the author’s experiences working in Rumkowski’s office in the Łódź ghetto administration. Includes illustrations.
Friedman, Philip. “Pseudo-Saviors in the Polish Ghettos: Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski of Lodz.” In Roads to Extinction: Essays on the Holocaust, 333-352. New York: Conference on Jewish Social Studies, 1980. (D 810 .J4 F739 1980) [Find in a library near you]
Describes Rumkowski’s success and failures in organizing the ghetto and protecting its inhabitants. Includes endnotes.
Huppert, Shmuel. “King of the Ghetto: Mordecai Haim Rumkowski, the Elder of the Lodz Ghetto.” Yad Vashem Studies 15 (1983): 125-157. (DS 135 .E83 Y3 v.15 and DS 135 .P63 R86 1983) [Find in a library near you]
Analyzes Rumkowski’s actions as head of the Judenrat in Łódź in comparison with the actions of comparable figures in other ghettos. Includes endnotes.
Rubinstein, Richard L. “Gray into Black: The Case of Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski.” In Gray Zones: Ambiguity and Compromise in the Holocaust and its Aftermath, edited by Jonathan Petropoulos and John K. Roth, 299-310. New York: Berghahn Books, 2005. (D 804.18 .G73 2005) [Find in a library near you]
Reexamines the actions and options available to Rumkowski in light of recent scholarship and research concerning complicity and survival strategies. Includes endnotes.
Tushnet, Leonard. The Pavement of Hell. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1972. (D 810 .J8 T874 1972) [Find in a library near you]
Profiles Rumkowski’s life and actions in comparison with those of the ghetto leaders in Warsaw and Vilnius, Adam Czerniaków and Jacob Gens, respectively.
Unger, Michal. Reassessment of the Image of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2004. (DS 135 .P63 R865 2004) [Find in a library near you]
Reexamines Rumkowski’s actions as head of the Judenrat in light of new research and theories concerning ghetto administration and the war effort. Contains footnotes.
Testimonies and Biographies
Abraham, Ben. ...And The World Remained Silent. New York: Vantage Press, 1996. (DS 135 .P63 A313 1996) [Find in a library near you]
Details the author’s life in the ghetto and survival in Auschwitz. Includes photographs.
Ben-Amos, Batsheva. “A Multilingual Diary from the Łódź Ghetto.” Gal-Ed: On the History of the Jews in Poland 19 (2004): 51-74. (DS 135 .P6 G34 v. 19) [Find in a library near you]
Analyzes an anonymous diary written in English, Hebrew, Polish, and Yiddish by a resident of the Łódź ghetto. The diary was written in the margins of a novel during the final months of the ghetto. Includes endnotes.
Chirurg, Riva. Bridge of Sorrow, Bridge of Hope. Berkeley, CA: Judah L. Magnes Museum, 1994. (DS 135 .P62 L643713 1994) [Find in a library near you]
Contains the account of the author’s deportation from Kielce to Łódź and life in the ghetto with her teenage friends. Includes illustrations.
Drukier, Manny. Carved in Stone: Holocaust Years, A Boy’s Tale. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996. (DS 135 .P63 D78 1996) [Find in a library near you]
Relates the author’s experiences as a young teenager in Łódź, his experiences during the war, and eventual return visit to Poland after 45 years of life abroad.
Eilenberg, Anna. Sisters in the Storm. New York: CIS Publishers, 1992. (DS 135 .P63 E544 1992) [Find in a library near you]
Describes life in the Łódź ghetto as recalled by an author who survived the war without ever being separated from her sister.
Glas-Wiener, Sheva. Children of the Ghetto. Fitzroy, Victoria: Globe Press, 1983. (DS 135 .P62 L643413 1983) [Find in a library near you]
Contains an account of life at the Marysin Orphanage within the Łódź ghetto. Includes a glossary.
Jacobs, Julius. The Will to Survive. Allentown, PA: J. Jacobs, 2006. (DS 135 .P63 J323 2006) [Find in a library near you]
Presents the author’s account of life in the Łódź ghetto as well as his deportation to Auschwitz. Includes photographs.
Kampinski, Marian. Remember Me: A Holocaust Survivor's Story. New York: iUniverse, 2009. (DS 134.72 .K36 2009) [Find in a library near you]
Describes the author's life from the time of the Nazi invasion of Poland to her arrival in the United States. Shows her experiences in the Łódź ghetto, transport to Auschwitz, and time at Stutthof. Includes poems by the author.
Kujawski, Benjamin. My Long Road to Freedom.(external link) Montreal: Concordia University Chair in Canadian Studies of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, 2002. (DS 135 .P63 K8493 2002) [Find in a library near you]
Recounts the author’s activities in the Łódź ghetto, his deportation to Auschwitz, and liberation from Dachau. Includes information on his postwar reunion with surviving family members.
Mostowicz, Arnold. With a Yellow Star and a Red Cross: A Doctor in the Łódź Ghetto. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2005. (DS 135 .P63 M67813 2005) [Find in a library near you]
Relates the author’s account of life and survival as a doctor in the Łódź ghetto and his deportation to Auschwitz. Includes maps and photographs.
Zylberberg, Perec. This I Remember. Montreal: Concordia University Chair in Canadian Studies of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, 2000. (DS 135 .P63 Z974 2000) [Find in a library near you]
Recalls the author’s life in the Łódź ghetto and elsewhere and offers the author’s reflections on writing about the psychological trauma he experienced.
Zyskin, Sara. Stolen Years. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co., 1981. (DS 135 .P62 L64913 1981) [Find in a library near you]
Recounts the author’s experiences as a young teenager in the Łódź ghetto and her subsequent deportation to Auschwitz.
Primary Sources and Documentation
Adelson, Alan and Robert Lapides, editors. Lodz Ghetto: Inside a Community Under Siege. New York: Viking, 1989. (DS 135 .P62 L6441354 1989) [Find in a library near you]
Contains translations of hundreds of diary entries, poems, notebooks, and ghetto announcements that document the history of the Łódź ghetto. Includes illustrations, a glossary, maps, endnotes, and an index.
Arad, Yitzhak, Israel Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot, editors. Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999. (D 804.19 .D63 1999) [Find in a library near you]
Reproduces several primary source documents, in translation, concerning activities in the Łódź ghetto, including Rumkowski’s announcement concerning labor in the ghetto, his speech announcing the deportations of the children, observations on the ghetto after the deportation of children, and the liquidation of the ghetto. Includes footnotes, a bibliography, and indexes.
Cytryn, Avraham. A Youth Writing Between the Walls: Notebooks from the Lodz Ghetto. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2005. (DS 135 .P63 Z4713 2005) [Find in a library near you]
Collects the poems, writings and diary entries created by a teenage boy in Łódź. The diary was hidden when he was deported to Auschwitz and recovered by his sister, and sole-surviving family member. Includes illustrations.
Dobroszycki, Lucjan, editor. The Chronicle of the Łódź Ghetto, 1941-1944. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984. (DS 135 .P62 L64413513 1984) [Find in a library near you]
Complete translation of the archives maintained by the administrators of the Łódź ghetto. Maintains the original day-to-day format used to preserve all aspects of life in the ghetto during the period between January 1941 and July 1944. Includes maps, photographs, a list of street names, and an index.
Grossman, Mendel. My Secret Camera: Life in the Lodz Ghetto, edited by Frank Dabba Smith. San Diego: Gulliver Books, 2000. (DS 135 .P62 L64347 2000) [Find in a library near you]
Collection of images of children and daily life in the ghetto. Written for young readers.
Grossman, Mendel. With a Camera in the Ghetto, edited by Zvi Szner and Alexander Sened. New York: Schocken Books, 1977. (DS 135 .P62 L643513 1977) [Find in a library near you]
Collection of photographs taken by Grossman in the ghetto and preserved in the collections of his surviving friends and associates.
Rosenfeld, Oskar. In the Beginning Was the Ghetto: Notebooks from Łódź. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2002. (DS 135 .P63 R67813 2002) [Find in a library near you]
Provides full text translations of 17 of the author’s research notebooks and writings from his work chronicling life in the Łódź ghetto. Includes editor’s notes.
Sierakowiak, Dawid. The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak: Five Notebooks From the Łódź Ghetto, edited by Alan Adelson. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. (DS 135 .P62 L64434 1996) [Find in a library near you]
Presents the diaries kept by the teenaged author that describe the outbreak of war and his life in the Łódź ghetto. Contains photographs.
Weber, Thomas, editor. Łódź Ghetto Album: Photographs. London: Boot, 2004. (DS 135 .P62 L63 2004) [Find in a library near you]
Collection of photographs documenting life in the Łódź ghetto originally taken by Henryk Ross.
Zapruder, Alexandra, editor. Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002. (D 804.48 .S33 2002) [Find in a library near you]
Translations of diaries kept by 14 different teenagers during the Holocaust, including two from Łódź. Contains endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.
Zelkowicz, Josef. In Those Terrible Days: Writings from the Lodz Ghetto. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2002. (DS 135 .P62 L68 2002) [Find in a library near you]
Reproduces writings and accounts created by the author while working inside the Łódź ghetto. Includes photographs and footnotes.
Film and Video
Adelson, Alan, and Kathryn Taverna, directors. Łódź Ghetto [videorecording]. Westport, CT: Jewish Heritage Project c1992. (DVD Collection) [Find in a library near you]
Chronological account of life in the Łódź ghetto as documented in over 1,000 carefully sequenced filmed images, made at great risk and left deliberately by the doomed community members. Includes a supplement following the program describing the making of the film, as well as interviews with individuals connected with the ghetto.
Cohen, Peter, director. The Story of Chaim Rumkowski and the Jews of Lodz [videorecording]. New York: The Cinema Guild, 1983. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]
Shows the efforts of German-appointed leader Chaim Rumkowski to save the Jewish community during the Nazi occupation of Łódź.
Jabłoński, Dariusz, director. The Photographer [videorecording]. [United States]: Koch Entertainment, 2004. (DVD Collection) [Find in a library near you]
Considers a collection of 400 color slides made by amateur Nazi photographer and chief accountant of Łódź ghetto, Walter Genewlin, for whom taking photographs of human misery was a hobby. Dr. Arnold Mostowicz, a Łódź ghetto survivor, provides a first-hand account of one of World War II’s darkest chapters.
Museum Web Resources
Web site of a Polish foundation dedicated to documenting and preserving Jewish history in the city of Łódź. Offers historical background on the city’s Jewish community, a brief history of the ghetto established there by the Nazis, and information on the activities of the foundation
Web site created to accompany the Museum’s special exhibition “Give Me Your Children: Voices from the Lodz Ghetto,” presented in 2007. Includes links to articles, photographs, and videos related to the exhibition, as well as images of pages from the album presented to Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski by the children of the ghetto in 1941.
Collects information on the history of the ghetto and its inhabitants. Includes online photographs, maps, survivor testimony, archival film footage, and images of artifacts.
Ask at the reference desk to see the following subject files for newspaper and periodical articles:
- “Jewish ghettos Poland Łódź”
When searching library catalogs or other electronic search tools for materials on the Jews of Łódź, use the following Library of Congress subject headings to retrieve the most relevant citations:
- Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)–Poland–Łódź
- Jewish children in the Holocaust–Poland–Łódź
- Jewish ghettos–Poland–Łódź
- Łódź (Poland)–Ethnic relations
- Rumkowski, Mordecai Hayim