Lodz Ghetto by Adelson, Alan & Taverna, Kate
In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. Though genocide is not uncommon in human history, the extend and the efficiency with which the Nazis were able to execute the extermination of Jews and others left an non-erasable mark on modern history.
In Nazi Germany approximately 5 to 6 million Jews were killed, including 3 million Polish Jews. The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the final solution, the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe. During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived racial inferiority. Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds.
The city of Lodz is located about 75 miles southwest of Warsaw, Poland. The Jews of Lodz formed the second largest Jewish community in prewar Poland. In early February 1940, German occupants established a ghetto, Lodz Ghetto, in the northeastern section of Lodz. About 160,000 Jews, more than a third of the citys population, were forced into a small area. The Germans isolated the ghetto from the rest of Lodz with barbed-wire fencing. Living conditions in the ghetto were horrendous as most of the quarter had neither running water nor a sewer system. The Ghetto remained until august 1944, when the remaining inhabitants were deported to extermination camps.