Litzmannstadt Ghetto, Ghetto Lodz

Litzmannstadt Ghetto - The Calendar 1942-1945

I decided to put the most important facts and information concerning the Lodz ghetto in chronological order to facilitate the use of this guide. First of all, I list the facts which preceded the creation of the confined district in Baluty, and are substantial for the subsequent events, as well as the essential dates from the history of the Litzmannstadt ghetto.


January 5 - deportations of the Gypsies to the death camp in Chelmno-nad-Nerem commenced. By January 12, over 4300 people were gassed there.

January 12 -liquidation of the Gypsy camp.

January 16 - the first phase of deportations. By January 29, over 10,000 Jews were transported to Chelmno and murdered there.

February 21 - the first public execution was conducted in the ghetto. Max Hertz from Cologne was hanged at Bazarowy square. [see: Bazarowy Square]

February 22 - a subsequent group of Jews from the Lodz ghetto was deported to Chelmno-nad-Nerem. In total, over 34,000 people were murdered there by April 2.

May 4 - the third phase of deportations. The May transports were almost exclusively of Jews from Western Europe. By May 15,10,914 people were forced into the cars leaving from the Radegast station. From January to May, 1942, 57,064 Jews and almost 4,300 Gypsies were deported. No one survived.

June 1 - Rumkowski ordered the Jews to shave off their beards and to shorten their coats. This order was often implemented by force.

June 2 - passenger trams started running in the ghetto. [see: The trams in the ghetto]

July 22 - a public execution at Plac Bazarowy. [see: Bazarowy Square]

September 1 - deportations of the hospital patients to Chelmno-nad-Nerem commenced. [see: Hospital No.1 and Pediatric Hospital]

September 4 - Chaim Rumkowski delivered a speech at the fire brigade square [see: Lutomierska Street], summoning the ghetto inhabitants to give away their children.

One of the most dramatic chapters in the history of the Lodz ghetto began. It was called "the great shpera". This name was derived from the German expression Allgemeine Gehsperre, which meant a strict prohibition on leaving one's house. The ghetto inhabitants were forbidden to leave their apartments, and the Jewish policemen, supervised by the German police, searched the houses one by one. They took the elderly, the ill, the crippled, and children under the age of 10. The Germans considered them redundant in the ghetto, for they were unable to work. 15,681 people, including 5862 children under the age of 10, were deported from the ghetto between September 1 and 12. They were all murdered in the death camp in Chelmno-nad-Nerem.

September 7 - 17 Jews from Pabianice were hanged at Plac Bazarowy for resistance against the Germans.

September 15 - The Germans fired at persons queuing for their potato ration at Balucki Rynek. They killed several Jews. Labour departments were established in former hospital buildings, from where the patients were deported to Chelmno.

October 1 - the ghetto numbered 89,446 inhabitants. The number of German sentries guarding the ghetto was reduced.

October - The ghetto turned into a huge labour camp. Representatives of the German Ghetto Board started visiting the labour departments to supervise production.

October 9 - a change of signboards: the name of Gettoverwaltung appeared on all buildings of labour departments.

December 1 - The Germans opened a camp for Polish children at Przemyslowa Street in the ghetto. [see: The camp for Polish children]

December - two new hospitals were established: a surgical hospital at 7 Mickiewicza Street and a contagious diseases hospital at 74 Dworska Street. [see: Hospital No.4] [see: Hospital for Contagious Diseases]


March 15 - 850 inhabitants of the ghetto were deported to labour camps near Poznan.

April 3 - about 1,000 Jews from the Litzmannstadt Getto were deported to Germany.

September 13 - another public execution at Plac Bazarowy.


March 4 - 750 inhabitants of the ghetto were sent by the Germans to work in the Hasag company in Czestochowa.

March 10 - 850 people were sent to the same company's branch in Skarzysko Kamienna.

May - Heinrich Himmler ordered the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto. At that moment, comprising 77,000 people, it was the last large Jewish population.

June 23 - the first transports left for the annihilation centre in Chelmno-nad-Nerem. By July 14, nearly 7,200 people were deported there.

July 14 - the transports to Chelmno were suspended.

August 1 - Chaim Mordechaj Rumkowski was ordered to evacuate the population into the Reich. The ghetto inhabitants were to depart voluntarily.

August 9 - first transports to Auschwitz- Birkenau departed from the Radegast station. About 70,000 people were sent there by the end of August. Most of them were directed to gas chambers right away; some remained in Auschwitz or were sent to other Nazi camps.

August 28 - Chaim Mordechaj Rumkowski and his family were deported to Auschwitz.

August 29 - the last transport left from the Radegast station for the death camp. [see: The Radegast Station]

September - About 850 people were left in the ghetto to clean the area; another group was chosen by Hans Biebow himself to work in Germany. They were mainly the high ranking officials of the ghetto administration, engineers, lawyers, doctors and their families, about 600 people in total. Scores of people hid themselves before the deportations began.

October 21 - several hundreds of Jews chosen by Biebow left for Koenigswusterhausen near Berlin.


January 19 - the Soviet army entered Lodz. Several hundreds of Jews, who were ordered by the Germans to clean the area, were still in the ghetto. A few days earlier the Germans had ordered them to dig graves in the cemetery, but they did not manage to execute them before the Soviet army arrived. [see: The Jewish Cemetery].


Hans Biebow, the manager of the Ghetto Board, was handed over by the American occupation authorities to the Polish authorities. The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor of the Regional Court in Lodz.

April 23-30 - Biebow's trial was conducted in the Regional Court at Plac Dabrowskiego. He was sentenced to triple death punishment and executed in Lodz.


Julian Baranowski, Łódzkie getto 1940-1944. Vademecum, Archiwum Państwowe w Lodzi & Bilbo, Lodz 2003.
Kronika łódzkiego getta, tom I (styczeń 1941 - maj 1942), tom II (czerwiec 1942), red. Danuta Dąbrowska i Lucjan Dobroszycki, Wydawnictwo Łódzkie, Łódź 1965.
Marek Budziarek, Łódź, Lodsch, Litzmannstadt. Wycinki z życia mieszkańców okupowanego miasta, Literatura, Łódź 2003.
Icchak (Henryk) Rubin, Żydzi w Łodzi pod niemiecką okupacją 1939-1945, Kontra, Londyn 1988.
The Last Ghetto. Life in the Lodz Ghetto 1940-1944, edited by Michael Unger, Yad Vashem, 1995