Liquidation of the Ghetto

In 1944 the Nazis increased pressure on the  German officials administering the Lodz Ghetto to liquidate it as it was by then the last ghetto in Europe. Hans Biebow, the German administrator of the ghetto, was reluctant to close the ghetto as it was a great source of personal income. Eventually he was forced to submit and in August 1944 the liquidation began.

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The entrance to Auschwitz

Notice ordering the population to hear Rumkowski speak about the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto on 6 August 1944 at 6pm

Notice ordering the tailors to report for deportation, 9 August 1944

Memorial at the Radegast station, the place from where the Jews of Lodz were deported.

In order to empty the ghetto quickly and smoothly, the Nazis attempted to deceive the Jews into believing they were being relocated to work camps where they would continue to live with their family members. They were ordered to report to Radegast railway station with their families and with luggage. The reality was that they were being transported to Auschwitz where most would be sent straight to their deaths. Those deemed fit for work were shaved and deloused, their luggage stolen, and then sent to crowded huts, not as families, but men to one bunk, women to another.

By the end of August only 877 Jews were left in Lodz Ghetto, ostensibly to clean it up. The Elder of the Jews of the Lodz Ghetto, Chaim Rumkowski, was on one of the last transports. He was murdered upon arrival at Auschwitz.