Lodz, a city in Southern Poland, had the second largest Jewish population in Europe. In 1940, the Germans forcibly created a ghetto of 200,000 Jews, a sealed self-governing labour camp for the German war effort. It was run by a Council of Elders, a police force and system of informers - all Jewish. From 1943 the ghetto was systematically emptied - first children and the elderly or infirm, then everyone. 200,000 people died, from starvation or in Auschwitz where they were shipped in cattle trucks. Only 800 survived, by hiding in cellars and attics until they were liberated by the Russians. But, while alive in the ghetto, the inhabitants tirelessly recorded their lives, their experiences, their miseries and their hopes. Diaries, letters, poems, sketches and photographs were secreted under floorboards, in cellars and in a dry-well. This testament has been gathered together and edited to provide an account of life and death inside the ghetto.
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