Holocaust History Archived Page
Establishment of Lodz Ghetto
February 8, 1940
The ghetto in Lodz: ghetto residents on the foot-bridge between the two parts the sealed ghetto, USHMM #30082
On February 8, 1940, the order to establish the Lodz ghetto was announced. Lodz, located in central Poland, held the second largest Jewish community in Europe, second only to Warsaw. Due to such a large population, it took the Nazis eight months to move all the Jews to the confined area of the ghetto and eventually seal in May 1940.
The Jews were packed tightly within the ghetto with an average of 3.5 people per room. More than 20 percent of the ghetto’s population died as a direct result of the harsh living conditions. Over the years, Jews from other parts of Europe and Roma Sinti were deported to the ghetto.
In the spring of 1944, the Nazis decided to destroy the Lodz ghetto. By then, Lodz was the last remaining ghetto in Poland, with a population of approximately 75,000 Jews in May 1944. On June 10, Heinrich Himmler ordered the liquidation the ghetto. By August 1944, the ghetto had been liquidated. Five months later, on January 19, 1945, the Soviets liberated Lodz. Of the 230,000 Lodz Jews plus the 25,000 people transported in, only 877 remained in the ghetto.