Lódz Ghetto

Lódz Ghetto

A History
Isaiah Trunk
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 01/21/2008
Format: Paperback 41 b&w photos, 13 figures, 1 map
ISBN: 978-0-253-21993-0
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2006 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Bronze Medal in History

In his comprehensive examination of the Lódz Ghetto, originally published in Yiddish in 1962, historian Isaiah Trunk sought to describe and explain the tragedy that befell the Jews imprisoned in the first major ghetto imposed by the Germans after they invaded Poland in 1939. Lódz had been home to nearly a quarter million Jews. When the Soviet military arrived in January 1945, they found 877 living Jews and the remains of a vast industrial enterprise that had employed masses of enslaved Jewish laborers. Based on an exhaustive study of primary sources in Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, German, and Russian, Isaiah Trunk, a former resident of Lódz, reconstructs the organization of the ghetto and discusses its provisioning; forced labor; diseases and mortality; crime and deportations; living conditions; political, social, and cultural life; and resistance. Included are translations of the 141 documents that Trunk reproduced in his volume.</P>

Author Bio

Isaiah Trunk (1905–1982) was Senior Research Associate and Chief Archivist at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. He is author of Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe under Nazi Occupation.

Robert Moses Shapiro is Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies, Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He is editor of Holocaust Chronicles: Individualizing the Holocaust through Diaries and Other Contemporaneous Personal Accounts.


“The first English translation of Isaiah Trunk's monumental study of the Lódz Ghetto, this book is richly based on primary sources in Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, German, and Russian that Trunk used to reconstruct the organization of Lódz and describe and explain the tragedy that befell the Jews imprisoned there. Included are translations of the 141 documents that Trunk reproduced in his original 1962 volume.”

“A monumental work.7/1/5/11”
 — Financial Times

“Trunk's essential volume provides invaluable material for yet more objective 'appreciations' of the terrible plight of the Jewish leaderships and inhabitants in the 'ghettos for Jews' set up by the Nazi authorities in the East. Vol. 89, no. 1, January 2011”
 — Slavonic and East European Review

“This translation . . . makes available an invaluable resource for English-language readers. . . . The book is handsomely produced and, in addition to 141 original documents (in translation), an extraordinarily detailed index, and period photographs, contains informative essays by translator-editor Shapiro and two renowned Holocaust scholars, the late Joseph Kermish and Israel Gutman. An indispensable tool for Holocaust research. . . . Essential.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

List of Major Tables, Charts, and Maps
List of Abbreviations
Translator-Editor's Introduction Robert Moses Shapiro
Isaiah Trunk Joseph Kermish
Introduction: The Distinctiveness of the Lódz Ghetto Israel Gutman
Foreword Jacob Robinson
Author's Preface Isaiah Trunk
I. Establishment of the Ghetto
Documents 1<N>23
II. Organization of the Ghetto
Documents 26<N>64
III. Provisioning
Documents 65<N>83
IV. Forced Labor
Documents 84<N>95
V. Diseases and Mortality
VI. Persecutions, Murder, and Deportations
Documents 96<N>112
VII. Internal Conditions
Documents 113<N>141
VIII. The Problem of Resistance
IX. Conclusions and Summations

Documents Arranged by Chapter
Street Names in Lódz Ghetto
Names of German Officials and Business Firms