Litzmannstadt Ghetto, Ghetto Lodz

The schools and collective "Prague IV"
29 Franciszkanska St. (Franzstrasse)

During the years 1940-41, in what was the first phase of the ghetto, this building belonged to the Mariawits parish. Schools operated here, both in the front and in the rear.

Records from April 1940 suggest that the schools had as many as eight grades: two grades were located on each of the three floors of the main building, and the rest in the wing. In the autumn of 1942, the Jews deported from Prague were placed here, and the schools had to suspend operations. The children did not return to their schools. Shortly thereafter, the site was commonly referred to as the location of Collective "Prague IV." Beginning in mid-May 1942, a tailoring department was located here, and tailoring classes for young people were held. The upper floors housed private apartments.

The former Mariawits building was crowded with displaced people. Hundreds of bunk beds made of unplaned planks were put both in the large and the smaller rooms. The bunk beds were standing so close to each other that one could only pass between them sideways. All the corners, the space under the bunk beds, between the bunk beds and on the bunk beds were occupied by suitcases, bags, packages, bundles, bed linen, laundry hung to dry, pots, canned food, plates and clothing. It is surprising that some space was left for the people.
Arnold Mostowicz, The Yellow Star and the Red Cross, p. 43.

At the beginning of this month, tailoring training courses for young people opened at 27 Franciszkanska St., in the tailoring department's building. Setting up this kind of institution is a rational solution to the problem of training children and young people in tailoring, which is the basic craft in the ghetto. At present, the labor departments employ about 2,000 children as apprentices. All tailoring and related workshops (knitted fabrics’ factory, leather department, etc.) delegate the most talented children to the training courses.
The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto, July 23, 1942, p. 151.