Education, culture and religion

Despite the harsh conditions in the ghetto, the Jews strove to keep education going for as long as they could, as well as cultural and religious activities. For in the absence of adequate nutrition, it was deemed that mental and spiritual stimulation was vital as ‘food for the soul’.

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Rumkowski in one of the Lodz Ghetto orphanages

School in Lodz Ghetto.

Street performers kept culture alive in the ghetto

Jewish life went on, including marriages

In the early days of the ghetto a proper school for the children was established, but by 1941 it was shut down and all the children who were able were forced to work. Clandestine schooling continued where possible. Some religious activity continued but it too went underground. The ghetto maintained a cultural life for as long as it could, with theatre and musical performances as well as poetry readings. The maintenance of cultural life in the ghetto was a form of resistance to the oppressive conditions Jews were forced to endure in their ghetto prison.