Lodz Jewry Faces Extinction; Confined to Ghetto, Deprived of Livelihood
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Lodz Jewry Faces Extinction; Confined to Ghetto, Deprived of Livelihood

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The Jewish population of Lodz, second largest Polish city which has been renamed Neu Breslau by the Nazis, is on the verge of extinction.

Of the former 230,000 Jews in the city, only half are left and these have been deprived of every means of livelihood. Their general position in many respects is worse than that of the Jews in Warsaw, since the Lodz district has been annexed to Germany and all Reich laws, including the “Aryan” legislation, are functioning.

A ghetto has been ordered for the Lodz Jews, accompanied by a specific prohibition on residence in two quarters of the city, including part of the main artery, Piotrokowska street, as well as Srodmiejska, Third of May, Zeromski and other streets. Jews are forbidden even to walk on Piotrokowska street without a special permit and payment of 12 marks to the military authorities.

The position of the Poles is no better than that of the Jews. Both alike are obliged to walk on the road when they meet uniformed Germans. “Legal” and illegal robbery of property is going on, with Jews the principal victims, although numerous Poles are also suffering. All Jewish workers have been dismissed from textile factories, which were recently partly reopened. As in Warsaw, Jews are forbidden to procure new clothes and shoes, and Jewish tailors and shoemakers are allowed only to make repairs

Desperately anxious to flee the city, the Jews have been forbidden to emigrate without special permission. All members of the former Jewish Community Council, as well as numerous other Jewish leaders including Zionists and Socialists, have been detained by the Nazi authorities.

Activities of the Jewish Community have been confined to administration of the cemeteries and supplying of workers for removal of debris from the streets. Although the Community is supplying 700 Jews daily for debris removal, hunting in the streets for labor conscripts continues daily. As in Warsaw, only Jews are being taken for the forced labor.


Numerous suicides of Jews are reported from Warsaw, including the owner of a large wholesale textile firm, Reuben Rottenberg, and the partner of the Opus linen factory, Abraham Lewin. Lewin is reported to have jumped out of a window on the fourth floor while being questioned by the Gestapo about his property. The fortunes of both Lewin and Rottenberg have-been confiscated by the Germans.

The streets of Warsaw, it is learned here, are covered with posters of a proclamation by the Governor of Warsaw, Dr. Hans Frank, holding the Jews responsible for all the evils of the war.

The brutal treatment of Jews by the Nazi authorities in small towns is growing continually worse, according to reports reaching here. In the township of Zelechow, near Warsaw, the local historic 500-year-old synagogue was set afire while crowded with worshippers. Several Jews were killed in attempting to escape and many others were seriously injured. The beadle of the synagogue, who tried to save the Scrolls of the Law, was ordered by the Nazis to dig a grave in which he was buried alive together with the Scrolls.

Many Jews have been cruelly maltreated in the towns of Piotrkow and Demblin, where the Nazis have subjected them to the most abominable tortures. All Poles and Jews have been expelled from the township of Lodzlawek, renamed Leslau by the Germans.

In Ostrow Mazowiecki all the Jews have been ordered to wear a yellow badge on their overcoats. The Poles have also been ordered to wear a badge, consisting of crossed red ribbons to differentiate them from the Jews. In the same town all the Jewish males were taken for compulsory work one day and freed only at eight o’clock in the evening, although the curfew imposed on the town began at six p.m. When returning home, the Jews were fired upon from both sides of the street for violating the curfew.

The entire town of Wysokie Mazowiecki has been burned to the ground and not a single inhabitant remains. Only ten houses remain standing in the township of Czyzew, notorious for the 1936 pogrom which occurred there.

In Warsaw all radio sets owned by both Jews and Poles have been confiscated. Only Germans and Reich citizens are permitted to have radios in the former Polish capital.

It is now learned here that the report of the arrest of ex-Deputy A. Hart-glass, former president of the Polish Zionist Organization, was incorrect. Hart-glass was detained by the Gestapo for questioning but was later released and ordered to submit a memorandum on the Zionist movement in Poland and on the possibilities of emigration to Palestine. The memorandum, it is understood, has been submitted.

It is learned here that a prominent Warsaw physician, Anastazy Landau, a baptized Jew, and the well-known Jewish lawyer, Waclaw Borkman, who often defended political prisoners, have been arrested by the Nazis.

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