This wooden box gave us insights about the atrocities in the Lodz Ghetto from 1940 to 1944

Poland was invaded by the Nazis back in 1939 and as a result, there were ghettos created that were separated by walls from major cities and they were constructed to house all Jews.

Lodz, a popular city, had a news and sports photographer named Henryk Ross, who worked at the Department of Statistics and he had to shoot identification photos and propaganda images to give more clarity on how the Jews were forced into labor for producing supplies for Germans.

Apart from his job duties, he also clicked some photos of the horror that prevailed in the ghetto and it involved a great amount of risk. He managed to click the photos from cracked walls, doorways, etc. and it showed us the inhuman condition of Jews and how they were living despite diseases, starvation, and executions.

He captured it when the Jews were sent to death camps and in 1944, as the Soviets tried pushing the Germans back, Warsaw was the center of the action and Ross realized that he could be deported.

Finally, on 19th January 1945, The Soviet Army liberated the ghetto and out of 200,000 Jews that it previously housed, only 877 were alive among which, one was Henryk Ross.

When he went back home, he developed all the photos and it gives us chills about the horrific living conditions. The photos are now preserved at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

A man walking in winter in the ruins of the synagogue on Wolborska street (destroyed by Germans in 1939). c. 1940

inside the Lodz Ghetto

Sign for Jewish residential area (“Jews. Entry Forbidden”). c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A boy walking in front of the bridge crossing Zigerska (the “Aryan”) street. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

“Having an official camera, I was able to capture all the tragic period in the Lodz Ghetto. I did it knowing that if I were caught my family and I would be tortured and killed.”
HENRYK ROSS

Henryk Ross photographing for identification cards, Jewish Administration, Department of Statistics. 1940

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A group of women with sacks and pails, walking past synagogue ruins heading for deportation. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A man who saved the Torah from the rubble of the synagogue on Wolborska Street. 1940

inside the Lodz Ghetto

“I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy…. I was anticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry. I wanted to leave a historical record of our martyrdom.”
HENRYK ROSS

Portrait of a couple. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A nurse feeding children in an orphanage. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A festive occassion. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A performance of ‘Shoemaker of Marysin’ in the factory. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

Woman with her child (Ghetto policemen’s family). c. 1940-1942

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A wedding in the ghetto. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

Children being transported to Chelmno nad Nerem (renamed Kulmhof) death camp. 1942

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A boy searching for food. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

Young girl. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

Men hauling cart for bread distribution. 1942

inside the Lodz Ghetto

“Soup for lunch” (Group of men alongside building eating from pails). c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A sick man on the ground. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A scarecrow with a yellow Star of David. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A boy walks among a crowd of people being deported in winter. 1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

Deportation in winter. c. 1940-1944.

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A mass deportation of ghetto residents. 1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

Residents sorting belongings left behind after deportation. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

Food pails and dishes left behind by ghetto residents who had been deported to death camps. 1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

A smiling child. c. 1940-1944

inside the Lodz Ghetto

Images: Henryk Ross/Art Gallery of Ontario

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *