Wednesday, September 4: Lodz

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

The picture shows the lists the Nazis made of the Jews in the ghetto and those to be transported to the death camps. Also shows some fragments of items the Jews made in the ghetto.

There's not a lot that remains of the Lodz ghetto. which was the last ghetto in Poland to be liquidated, in the summer of 1944. We walked around the streets and tried to identify the buildings that might have housed long-gone family members.

The Radegast Monument, the railway station from where Jews were transported to their deaths, plunged us back into that surreal world of unmitigated horror. To see a cattle car, the barbed wire at the small opening, to touch the restored wood, is to understand that it's true. The understanding is cerebral rather than visceral. How can we begin to comprehend an iota of the anguish and fear of the men, women and children who trundled to their death in this stuffy confined place. I tried to imagine being there; I fantasized how I would have escaped, but no plan seemed foolproof. It was a meaningless exercise carried out at a different time in history.

We walked down a long hallway whose walls were lined with the Nazi lists of the names of the Jews in the ghetto and those to be transported to the death camps. Some of the lists had names that were crossed out in red ink. Also displayed were fragments of items that the Jews made in the ghetto.

Later, we visited the Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is vast and overgrown with greenery. We searched for the graves of Szymon and Hencla Zmidek and eventually located the grave of Szymon Zmidek. Another connection to our ancestral past was established.


Monday: The first day

Monday: Auschwitz-Birkenau

Monday: Auschwitz-Birkenau (continued)

Tuesday: Chmielnik

Tuesday: DSS HQ

Thursday: Warsaw Ghetto

Friday: Warsaw, Okopowa cemetery

Friday: Polin Museum

Historical Snippets


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Historical snippets

(Culled from statements by Tomasz: from Gabrielle). The Jews arrived in Poland over 900 years ago, fleeing persecution, primarily from Prague. As they were skilled in commerce and trade, they served a