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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The volume and its companion film (also available from Amazon.com in VHS video) bring the reader within the barbed wire perimeters of the most notorious man-made hell on earth. In their diaries, the ghetto dwellers yearn for the chance to live, and while the era was the most destructive in human history, their writings inspire the appreciation of life in its beautiful day to day details, from the love of family to the indefatigable sparks of creativity and initellect. Several of the authors are students themselves, yearning for a chance to survive and accomplish something with their lives, all the while they grieve as their community is dying off around them.From the Author:
"Any moment now the search will begin. If they find our hiding place, I will leave these notebooks in the dungeon. They might be our last trace." Jakub Poznanski, engineer. "Son of man, go out in the streets, soak in the unconscious terror of the new-born babies about to be slaughted. Be strong. Keep your heart from breaking so you'll be able to describe, carefully and clearly, what happened in the ghetto during the first days of September in the year 1942." Jozef Zelkowicz, journalist. "I want to be able to record for posterity what I have seen...I've been in contract with first-hand sources for a long time. I know many nuances, mainy detials not known officially. And I deem it my duty to report them, if not in a finished, systematically researched work of history, then at least as source material for the objective historians who will come later." Jakub Szulman, physician. "I can't write...I can't concentrate and describe it all chronologically. I am broken, I feel guilty, I am a murderer...I killed Mookha. How can a father desert his own child and run away?"--Anonymous
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Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140132287 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0025858
Book Description Penguin Books, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110140132287
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