This notice, calling for the Jews to report for “relocation” to a new camp outside the ghetto, demonstrates the deceptive tactics used by the Nazis to give Jews false hope. By the time of this notice, August 1944, the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto was underway, having commenced in June, with regular deportations to Auschwitz. These deportations were disguised as “relocation” however the new location was never named. The Jews were also deceived into believing that by travelling with their families they would remain together. Yet the majority of family members were separated upon arrival at Auschwitz, and more than 80 per cent were murdered immediately in gas chambers. To add to the charade, this notice states that inhabitants can bring up to 20 kilograms of luggage with them, however they never saw this luggage again.
Deportation announcement in Lodz Ghetto, August 1944
Jewish police in the Lodz Ghetto
Notice re: Hans Biebow addressing workers at the metal factory to discuss their imminent 'relocation'
Chaim Rumkowski, Nazi-appointed Jewish leader of the ghetto
During August regular notices appeared in the ghetto, ordering 5,000 inhabitants per day, district-by-district, to present for “relocation”. However Jews were reluctant to report. The Bund (Jewish socialist organisation) warned Jews to hide in the ghetto for as long as possible. This particular notice orders workers and their families from two Tailoring Workshops in Hanseatenstreet to report at the Radegast station at 7 am on August 3, 1944.
Although Rumkowski signed this notice, his true authority became clear in the last few months of the ghetto’s existence. His attempts to prevent liquidation ultimately failed. The decision to liquidate the ghetto was made by the German administration, in an attempt to destroy the evidence. When the Soviet army arrived on 19 January 1945, they liberated 877 people. During June and August 1944, over 70,000 Lodz inhabitants were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, with the last transport departing on August 29, 1944 including Rumkowski and his family.