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Given the close living quarters in the Lodz ghetto, its poor sanitary conditions, hard labor, lack of heat and warm clothing, and an inadequate food supply, it is not surprising that many succumbed to epidemics, starvation, and freezing weather, as well as the physical brutality of the Nazis. Heart disease, tuberculosis, and malnutrition caused many of the deaths in the ghetto. (A vast amount of additional information about the ghetto is at http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Lodz/holocaust.htm.)
In the ghetto's five hospitals, staff tried to fight illness without adequate medicines, medical equipment, even beds. In March 1940, the psychiatric ward at Poznanski Hospital was evacuated, and later, on July 17, 1941, the psychiatric hospital on Wesola Street was emptied, the patients never seen again. On January 16, 1942, deportations from the ghetto directly to the Chelmno death camp began in earnest.
On a clear morning in early September, marking the third anniversary of the war, German policemen encircled all the hospitals in the ghetto and the children's isolation ward in Marysin, as military trucks pulled up to the hospitals on Lagiewnicka, Wesola, and Drewnowska Streets. Patients were roughly loaded aboard the trucks, many thinking they were being relocated to shacks on Krawiecka Street. As news of the real purpose of the transfer reached the Lodz Ghetto residents, families and friends of the patients frantically ran to the hospitals in a desperate effort to save their ailing loved ones. A few of the patients managed to escape their fate this time, but many were captured and removed from the ghetto the next morning.
This was followed on September 4, 1942, by the announcement of a deportation of children and nearly all other elderly and infirm. Between September 5 and 12, 1942, a second deportation to Chelmno took place. There were periodic deportations to the death camps over the next two years, with those deaths unreported. Records of deaths in the hospitals were maintained from November 1941 to December 1943. By May 1944, the Nazis decided to liquidate the ghetto and reestablished Chelmno. Between June 23 and July 7, 1944, Jews from the ghetto were again sent to Chelmno and perished there. A new destination was determined in August, and 74,000 Lodz Jews were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Only 800 inmates remained in the Lodz Ghetto on the day of liberation by the Soviet army, January 19, 1945.
The database contains the names of individuals who died in the Lodz Ghetto Hospital(s). As mentioned in the above "Background" there was more than one hospital in the ghetto, but we cannot tell if these records relate to one or all of the ghetto hospitals.
The original records were prepared in weekly sets. There are two sources for the records: the Ghetto Hospital Records and the Statistical Office Records. The Statistical Office copies were not as legible as the Hospital copies and therefore there is a greater possibility for errors in the database information for those records. The Statistical Office records also have a significant number of handwritten notes on them. However, as neither we nor USHMM could determine what these notes refer to and as they were very difficult or impossible to read, they were not included in the database. The ledgers were kept on a weekly basis and include approximately 14,500 individual records. (Please see the table below for an analysis of the weekly information and source.) Any breaks in the weeks were due to missing ledgers. If the missing weekly ledgers are ever found, we will add them to the database. USHMM has a collection of about 800 reels of data on Lodz and many files are in different reels; therefore, it is quite possible that the missing weeks will be discovered at some future time. The catalog number at the USHNN is [RG 05.008M], reels 8 and 9 . To view images of some of the hardcopy pages transcribed from the microfilms, click here.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) initially provided JewishGen with only the hospital records. After these had been computerized, Peter Lande of USHMM discovered the Statistical Office files. Some of them were duplicates of the hospital records and were not input again. Many, luckily, were missing weeks and were added to this database.
The fields of the database are as follows:
To assist the researcher with German terms, please see JewishGen InfoFile http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/GermanOccs.htm for translations of occupations, and the file Translation of "Cause of Death" Field in Lodz Ghetto Hospital Records for translations of the German medical terms for cause of death.
The following chart lists the weeks, by starting date, the number of pages in the set, the number of deaths for that week, and the source of the documents.
The addresses used in the field "Address" are problematic. It was not unusual for the Germans to rename streets and rename them more than once! Within the weekly ledgers, we found street codes that were made up of number and letter series: 1 Str. through 61 Str. and A Str. through AY Str. and additional letter codes. One possible reason for the shorter codes was to be able to fit the street codes in maps. However, researchers have found that even the codes changed from map to map. The information in the table below was compiled by Roni Liebowitz and Petje Schroeder. It gives you certain, not all, Lodz street name equivalents for the German street codes used in the database. The information came from "Straßenverzeichnis von Litzmannstad," the Lodz Street Register, published by the Mayor of L. Department of Statistics in 1941.
Researchers will also want to consult the Lodz Streets Database at http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Lodz/streets.htm, which includes the list of all streets in the city of Lodz for the past 100 years.
|9 Str.||Lustige Gasse|
|12 Str.||Breite Gasse|
|H Str.||Halbe Gasse|
|J Str.||Frohe Gasse|
|J Str.||Schloßstrasse / Schloss|
|N Str.||Runde Gasse|
|P Str.||Braune Gasse|
|S Str.||Kühle Gasse|
|Y Str.||Am Bach|
|AU Str.||Putziger Strasse|
|SP Str.||Kurze Gasse|
|UE Str.||Königsberger Strasse|
|Baluter Ring||Rynek Bałucki|
|Dietrich-von-Bern-Str. (Bertholdstrasse)||Kolińskiego J.|
|Dunkle Gasse||Ciemna (does not exist anymore)|
|Forststr. (Wendener Str.)||not located|
|Frohe Gasse||Kurasia J. "Ognia"|
|Goldschmiedegasse||Tokarzewskiego gen. M.|
|Güntherstr. (Maxstr.)||Plater Emilii|
|Hamburger Str. (Telegrafenstr.)||Lutomierska|
|Krimhildstr.||Sucharskiego mjr H.|
|Ottilienstr. (Hagenstr.+ Roderichstr.)||Mostowskiego T.|
|Rastweg (OE Str.)||in the ghetto, not located|
|Riemergasse||Rymarska (does not exist anymore)|
|Roderichstr. (Ottilienstr.)||Mostowskiego T.|
|Siegrunenweg (Bertramstr.)||Jonschera K.|
|Storchengasse||Masarska (now part of Zachodnia)|
|Sulzfelder Str.||Wojska Polskiego|
|Telegrafenstr. (Hamburger Str.)||Lutomierska|
|Tirpitzstr.||Rawicka (does not exist anymore)|
|Torstr. / Thorstr. (Rungestr. / Rungeweg)||Widok|
The information contained in this database was indexed from the files of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). These records were scattered over a number of reels. This information is accessible to you today thanks to the effort of the following JewishGen volunteers who are responsible for the transcription of this file: Nolan Altman (coordinator), Nancy Biederman, Anna Blanchard, Eve Blum, Beny Bobek, Joy Conroy, Joyce Eastman, Carol Edan, Shana Egan, Kurt Friedlaeder, Harry Green, Ernest Kallmann, Bill Leibner, Elisheva Malovicki, Edward Mitelsbach, Fritz Neubauer, Shimon Neuman, Hans Nord, Joan Parker, Ralph Salinger, Nicolas Trokiner, Karen Weinberg and Paula Zeiselman. Special thanks to Edward Mitelsbach for the German "Causes of Death" translations and to Roni Liebowitz and Petje Schroeder for the information and assistance regarding the Lodz Street codes and to Michael Meshenberg for his help with editing the Background information.
Thanks to JewishGen Inc. for providing the website and database expertise to make this database accessible. Special thanks to Susan King, Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias for their continued contributions to Jewish genealogy. Particular thanks to the Research Division headed by Joyce Field and to Nolan Altman, coordinator of Holocaust files.
Roni Liebowitz and Nolan Altman
This database is searchable via both JewishGen's Holocaust Database and JewishGen's All Poland Database.
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Last Update: 22 June 2004 by WSB