The Case of Lodz: New Research on the Last Ghetto: Michal Unger, Lodz: The Last Ghetto in Poland and Andrea Löw, Juden im Getto Litzmannstadt Lebensbedingungen, Selbstwahrnehmung, Verhalten and Andrzej Strzelecki, The Deportation of Jews from the Łódź Ghetto to KL Auschwitz and their Extermination
This review article discusses three books on the Lodz Ghetto. The liberal use of memoirs, on which are based Michal Unger’s book The Last Ghetto, and that of Andrea Löw, Juden im Getto Litzmannstadt, Lebensbedingungen, Selbstwahrnehmung, Verhalten, make a significant contribution to the history of the period and to historiography. The two studies present a wide-ranging view of the highly complicated Lodz Ghetto. Unger’s and Löw’s studies make possible a re-examination of the history of the ghetto’s establishment, primarily based on the fact that the Lodz Ghetto was a “working ghetto,” the controversial leadership of Chaim Rumkowski, the Judenrat head, and everyday life in the ghetto, including social, cultural, and religious life. Andrej Strzelecki’s book also examines the liquidation of the ghetto, focusing on what happened to the Jews of Lodz in the summer of 1944. Through these three books, a wide-ranging picture is provided of the Lodz Ghetto as a result of research focusing on Jewish eyewitness accounts which survived the war.