The Jews of the Lodz Ghetto lived through a very unique set of circumstances for the duration of the war: economically, socially and even culturally, Lodz was simply different than elsewhere. Even the destiny of the inhabitants of the Ghetto as the potential or actual victims of Nazi genocide was experienced differently from elsewhere. Using three or more relevant sources of any kind – primary or secondary, textual or visual – write a paper that takes on one or more aspect of this “distinctive” history.
Essentially, I am asking you to find a single aspect of the Lodz Ghetto and write about it. What could that aspect be? You could use what you already know: Rumkowski’s speech and the infamous Shperre of 1942. You could even reuse the material from the Discussion forum (Rumkowski’s speech, Zelkowitz’s reportage, David S’s diary) and write an expanded version of what you have already begun to argue there, including that historical measure expressed by Zelkowitz involving, “the sensation of disbelief”.
this was my discussion post.
On September 8th, 1939 when the German Military arrived in Lodz, a lot of Jewish people were terrorized and a lot of blood was shed all over the place. Many of them were beaten, killed, and one of the worst things that occurred was many of them were robbed from their belongings and tortured because of this. Imagine living in a house and someone comes in, kicks you out of it, steal everything and then tortures you while you watch your house being robbed? well, this was true to the Jewish people during this time. on May 8th, the ghetto was fenced in because of the amount of shootings that occurred and Chaim Rumkowski was named head of the Jewish counsel. In July of 1940, many Jewish people were being killed in the ghetto because of the German Military coming in and preforming shootings on them through the fencing. Rumkowski intervened with the Nazi people, and made sure these shootings wouldn’t happen again. After more shootings began to occur within the ghetto, the Germans wanted to come in and punish the ghetto. Rumkowski came in and talked them down to issuing a curfew to the ghetto. In 1941, word started to get around the ghetto that the Germans had set up camps and that Rumkowski was being asked to deport Jews to the camp. Early 1942, Rumkowski was ordered to deport 10,000 Jews to the camp from the ghetto.
On September 4th, 1942 known as the “shperre”, Rumkowski delivered a famous speech that is very well known to this day. In his speech, Rumkowski expresses sorrow to the Jewish people, and he himself is all upset and seems like he feels as if he is letting down the Jewish people with the strict orders he is given. In his speech, he repeats over and over that he hates to be put in this position and made it seem as if he didn’t even want he job that he had. In his speech, where he was ordered to send 24,000 but he got it down to 20,000 if the people being sent out were children, he ordered all children up to 10 and elders over the age of 65 to be sent out to the camp. Rumkowski was criticized for this for a long time, and was hated by the Jewish community. In 1944, Rumkowski and his family were killed by the Germans. Rumkowski to me seemed as if he was an ambitious man, but one who was too ambitious and got himself caught up in bas situations, just like the one that was described above. I believe the purpose of Rumkowskis speech is to issue a order that he was given, but also to show the fear he had for the Jewish ghetto community.
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