List of Ghettos mentioned

According to the documents, the claimants were located in the following, approx. 140, ghettos:

Baranowicze, Bedzin, Berehovo, Bershad, Biala-Podlaska, Bialystok, Bilky, Borszczow, Boryslaw, Brody, Brzesko, Brzeziny, Budapest, Budzyn, Byten/Slonim, Chelm, Chrzanow, Chust, Czernowitz, Czortkow, Deblin, Debrecen, Diatlovo, Dombrowa, Dombrowica, Drobin, Dywin, Dzialoszyce, Edinetz, Glebokie, Grodno, Grosswardein, Holszany, Hrubieszow, Ibra, Isa, Iwacewicze/Brest, Izbica, Jagielnica, Janow, Jaslo, Kamionka, Kaunas, Kiczwarda, Kielce, Klaj, Klausenburg, Kleszczele, Kolomea, Komarow, Konskie, Krakau, Krusznik, Lemberg, Lodz, Lodz/Jacoba-Strasse, Lokacze, Lublin, Luck, Lucka, Ludwipol, Lukow, Majdan-Tatarski, Mako, Mateszalka/Ungarn, Mielec, Moghilew, Munkacs, Nagy-Karoly, Nagy-Szöllös, Nove Zamky, Opole, Oshmyany, Pabianice, Parczew, Pinsk, Piotrkow-Trybunalski, Plaszow, Plonsk, Podbrozie, Podgorz/Krakau, Podhajce, Pruzana, Przemyslany, Radom, Rakow, Rejowiec, Riga, Rokitno, Ryki, Rzeszow, Sambor, Sandomierz, Sanok, Sarnaki, Sarny, Satora-Ujhely, Satu-Mare, Schaulen, Shalat, Shanghai, Sienawa, Slonim, Smorgon, Sosnowitz, Stanislawow, Stanislawow, Stoczek, Stopnica, Stryj, Swir, Szalard, Szarvas, Szarvas, Szeklencze, Targu-Mures, Tarnogrod, Tarnopol, Tarnow, Tiacevo, Tlumacz, Tluste, Trembowla, Trzebinia, Tschenstochau, Tyszowce, Uzhorod, Warschau, Wilna, Wladimir-Wolynsk, Wlodowa, Wolbrom, Zamosc, Zbarazh, Zdzieciol, Zelechow, Zwolen

The claimants mentioned around 20 other ghetto names, the ones listed above are included in the list of ghettos entitled to receive pensions under the "Gesetz zur Zahlbarmachung von Renten aus Beschäftigungen in einem Ghetto (ZRBG)".

Karte mit einer Auswahl der in den Akten erwähnten Ghettos
Karte mit einer Auswahl der in den Akten erwähnten Ghettos

Note: The map covers the territory of Poland occupied by the German Reich. The ghettos Kaunas, Vilnius, Kleszcele, Lviv, Stryj, Boryslaw were located on territory occupied by the USSR and were established after the beginning of the German-Soviet War, the Hungarian ghettos Uzhhorod, Munkach, Mateszalka, Nagyszöllös, Budapest in 1944. The following ghettos mentioned in the files are located outside the map area and were established after the beginning of the German-Soviet War: Baranowicze, Berehovo (Beregszasz), Bershad, Bilky, Borszczow, Brody, Chust, Czernowitz, Czortkow, Dzuryn, Grosswardein, Iwacewicze, Kolomea, Lokacze/Lokaczi, Ludwipol, Pinsk, Piotrkow, Podbrozie, Przemyslany, Riga, Schaulen/Šiauliai, Slonim, Smorgon, Stanislaw/Stanislau, Trembowla, Tluste, Wlodimierzec, Stolpce, Szarvas.

The live in the Ghettos

Conditions of life

Many claimants report on the hard labour in the ghettos, the deportation of family members to extermination camps, epidemics, the murder of relatives, the lack of food and the extremely cramped living conditions.

In the Lodz ghetto, 164,000 people lived in 4km2, spread over 48,000 rooms. A description from the ghetto chronicle:

It was a small room on the ground floor with one window, without a stove, like all the rooms, and, after careful measurement, measured 14 square metres. Fifteen people now moved into this 14-square-metre room /as we call a one-roomed room/, convinced that they would more than fill the small space. The mattresses, laid out for the night, did not even leave two centimetres of space free, but rather closed together tightly and artfully, covering the entire floor. From then on, this night-time preparation manoeuvre was repeated every evening with the same level of skill. The slightest inaccuracy in fitting the mattresses to be laid out and the room turned out to be too small, the mattresses could not be fully laid out.

Source: Sascha Feuchert, Erwin Leibfried and Jörg Riecke(Eds.): Die Chronik des Gettos Lodz / Litzmannstadt; Wallstein
Verlag, Volume 5, p.13

,In the Vilnius ghetto, each person had "just over one square metre of space to sleep".

On the situation in the Krakow ghetto:

"15,000 Jews were to be housed in an area that had previously served as living space for 3000 people. The living space was calculated according to windows. Four people per window axis. So if a room had two windows, up to eight people were accommodated in this room. There was usually no room for furniture. 16,000 Jews were to be accommodated in the 320 houses with 3167 rooms by 20 March 1941. After 15 September 1941, the situation worsened when another 4,000 Jews had to move from the towns surrounding Krakow - now 20,000 people were crammed into a very small space."

Source:The establishment of the Krakow ghetto


Food supply

All claimants report on the hunger, e.g. in the Lodz ghetto. From the "Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto":

19 August 1943 At last, at last! On the afternoon of 19 August, after large deliveries of potatoes had been rolled in during the previous 24 hours, the vouchers (note: ration cards) were realised. The people received their quota like a gift from heaven. Silently, wordlessly, without thanks and without grumbling. Hunger had rendered them incapable of any upsurge of the heart. Three kilos of potatoes in the home and you go on living.
Some, so the story goes, pounced on this quantity, which was supposed to be enough for 14 days, and ate it all at once without thinking about what would happen "later", "afterwards". Suppress hunger, fill the stomach and leave the future to God!
That was the slogan, the unspoken slogan of 19 August 1943.

Source: Sascha Feuchert, Erwin Leibfried and Jörg Riecke (eds.), Die Chronik des Getto Lodz/Litzmannstadt 1941, Volume IV, p. 86, Wallstein Verlag,

Food was allocated on ration cards ("coupons"). The entry for 29 January 1944 describes the food rationing for the period from 31 January to 13 February 1944:

On coupon 96 of the food ration card, the following are issued: 600 g rye flour; 100 g soup powder; 200 g rye groats; 50 g onion seed flour; 300 g sugar, white; 200 g sugar, brown; 400 g salt; 300 g coffee mix; 100 g oil; 100 g mustard; 350 g jam; 20 g baking soda; 50 g Maggi soup powder; 250 g washing soda; 1/2 bar of soap. This ration amounts to: Mk. 7.50.

In addition, from Saturday 29th June 44, 50 g of margarine; 30 g of melted butter; 150 g of vegetable salad per head, at a price of Mk. 1, will be distributed to all those in the milk distribution centres responsible for them on Cp. 92 of the food ration card.

Allocation of radishes and carrots: From Saturday, 29th June 44, 1 kg of radishes and carrots per head will be distributed to all in the colonial goods distribution centres responsible for them on Cp. 127 of the vegetable card for the amount of Mk. 0.50.

Source: Sascha Feuchert, Erwin Leibfried and Jörg Riecke (eds.), Die Chronik des Getto Lodz/Litzmannstadt 1941, Wallstein Verlag, Volume IV, p. 86

A statement on the supply situation in the Wina ghetto: "125 grams of bread daily; other foodstuffs per week: 80 grams of pearl barley, 50 grams of sugar, 50 grams of sunflower oil and 30 grams of salt".

Source: Vilnius ghetto

Sterbebuch des Krankenhauses Ghetto lodz
Quelle: Lodz Ghetto Hospital Death Records (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, List-ID: 20542)

A page from January 1942. Cause of death "Inanitio": "Inanition or emaciation is a reduction in body weight to less than 80 per cent of normal weight." This means that every fourth deceased person on this page died of starvation.

Forced Labour

Already in the ghettos ,  many persecuted people had to work for German industry and the Wehrmacht, for example in the Lodz ghetto,  where 70,000 ghetto inhabitants worked in 1943.

The claimants imprisoned in the Lodz ghetto mentioned their work in the tailor's shop (Tola Cudzynowski, Lilian Bergmann, Sam Binke, Elka Kolski, Moniek Kolski, Sara Szajbowicz), laundry (Sam Binke, Mania Zinger), knitting mill (Abraham Klinger), spinning mill (Eugene Chester), shoe production (Fa. Sonnabend - Pola Tenzer, Brajdla Wajsblum), saddlery department (Bassia Schneps, Lilka Czestochowski), in the straw department (straw shoe production, straw basket production - David Bieda, Sara Szajbowicz, Moniek Kolski, Tauba Rojm, Alex Bieda), toy production (Henia Weissblum), carpet department (Bassia Schneps), "metal department no. 1" (Ruben Fuchs), metal department (David Ledermann), forge (Moniek Dymant), food distribution (Sam Peter, Henia Weissblum), vegetable department (Charles Russak), loading work (David Bieda and others), sorting clothes and in the hospital kitchen (Lonia Steinhauer), in administration; as a locksmith, mechanic, welder (Jakob Lejb), hairdresser. More than 70 claimants were in the Lodz ghetto.

Ghetto Lodz, Strohschuhproduktion
Ghetto Lodz, Strohschuhproduktion; Quelle: Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, Lodz-A248, Foto: Walter Genewein.
Ghetto Lodz, Schneiderei
Ghetto Lodz, Schneiderei; Quelle: Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, Lodz-A339, Foto: Walter Genewein.
Ghetto Lodz: Produktionszahlen Schneiderei, Stand: 1.7.1943; Quelle: Yad Vashem, Archival signature 3435/335
Ghetto Lodz: Produktionszahlen Schneiderei, Stand 31.12.1943; Quelle: Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, Lodz-A336, Foto: Walter Genewein

Malka Brener

born 1918 in Wirbalin,  née  Malka Orlinski, Sworn statement from 13 January 1955.

Unterschrift Malka B.

Biography: She lived with her husband, who worked as an accountant, in Kowno (Kaunas, Kauen), Lithuania. 1941 Kowno ghetto, 1944 one month in Stutthof concentration camp, Stutthof concentration camp/Elbling subcamp, 11/1944 Stutthof concentration camp, 4/1945 evacuated by ship. At sea, her ship was attacked from the air and she was injured.

As soon as the KOWNO ghetto was established on 18 August 1941, the Gestapo carried out an action and killed about 500 intellectuals. - My husband was among the victims - the organisers of the action were SS men JORDAN and WIEDMANN, MÜLLER and GECKE. I myself had to leave my previous flat with everything in it and move to GHETTO KOWNO...I lived at Krikschukaicestr. 51 with many people in one room.- There was also a Judenrat appointed by the Germans with Dr Elkes at the head, from whom I received my food rations and work allocation.- I had to wear the yellow star on my chest and back as a Jewish badge.- I did forced labour under Wehrmacht guard at earthworks at the airport.

Eugene Chester

born on  23 March 1919 in Lodz.

Biography: Lodz, Lodz ghetto (spinning mill), Auschwitz concentration camp, Groß Rosen concentration camp/Falkenberg subcamp (road construction), Neuengamme concentration camp/Hildesheim subcamp (load labour), Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

When the ghetto was set up, I was forced to move in with my family. We lived in a dirty little room and had nothing to eat and from the beginning I had to do 12 hours of forced labour every day. I was sent to a spinning mill . . . Our food was miserable and consisted of little bread and a few pieces of vegetables. Under these circumstances I soon became ill. In 1942 the deportations began. My brother was sent away and I never saw him again. I fell ill myself with dysentery and fever. My father, who also had to work hard, died, i.e. he starved to death in May 1943 and I trembled every moment that I was about to be selected. At the beginning of 1944, I was arrested by the Grippo together with my mother. As they had found out that we were rich people, they thought we were hiding valuables. I was brutally beaten up during the interrogation. Then I was released. My mother was kept for a fortnight. I was in a terrible state when I was taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp in August 1944. My mother and brother were sent to the gas chambers there.

Cudzynowski, Tola

born on 25 September 1908 in Lodz/Poland, née Tola Binke, sworn statement from 1955.

Biography: Forced labour in Lodz and Lodz ghetto (uniform manufacturing), August 1944 Auschwitz concentration camp, September 1944 Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 2 December1944 Flossenbürg concentration camp/Mehltheuer subcamp (munitions factory) prisoner number 59484, 16 April 1945 liberation. Displaced Persons Camp  Feldafing

I went to school in Lodz and then worked as a dressmaker. The Germans came to Lodz in September 1939. We immediately had to wear the Magen David and were put to forced labour; I had to do cleaning work on the street. At that time I lived in Danziger Strasse. As early as January 1940 I had to move to the later ghetto, including Brzezinska. The ghetto was closed in May 1940. It was fenced in with barbed wire. There was a warning at the gate that anyone leaving the ghetto would be shot. The ghetto was guarded inside by Jewish police and outside by the Gestapo. The Jewish elder was called Chaim Rumkowski, the German commandant was called Bibow. I had to make uniforms for the German Wehrmacht in the ghetto's tailoring workshop. I stayed in the Lodz ghetto until August 1944.

Lilka Czestochowski

born on  23 March 1924 in Lodz/Poland née Lilka Rochman, sworn statement  from 1965.

Biography: Lodz ghetto, August 1944 Auschwitz concentration camp, Gross Rosen concentration camp/Christianstadt subcamp, Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, displaced person camp Zeilsheim (Regiistration card) 1949 USA.

My ordeal began when the Nazis occupied my home. We had to endure harassment right from the start. When the ghetto was set up, I had to move in with my family. The conditions were incredibly filthy. There was almost nothing to eat and I had to do the hardest forced labour in the saddlery [...]Epidemics broke out because of the unhygienic conditions. One of my sisters died. I myself fell victim to a typhus epidemic and received only a minimum of medical help. All the inmates were close to starving to death In August 1944, we were all deported to Auschwitz. Here my parents were immediately sent to the gas chambers

Ghetto Lodz, Sattlerei; Quelle:Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, Lodz-A226, Foto: Walter Genewein.
Ghetto Lodz, Sattlerei; Quelle: Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, Lodz-A226, Foto: Walter Genewein.

Ruben Fuchs

born on  21 May 1930 in Lodz/Poland, statement from 1963

Biography: early 1940 to August 1944 Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz concentration camp, August 1944 to February 1945 Stutthof concentration camp, Stutthof concentration camp/Stolp subcamp, Stutthof concentration camp/Burggrabensubcamp, Danzig, 2 May 1945 Neustadt/Holstein 3 May 1945 liberation.

I was sent to the Lodz ghetto in May 1940. Although I was still a small child, after some time in the ghetto I was put to work in the metal department No. 1. I had to work especially to get something to eat. My parents both worked, but not with me. I still remember that I suffered from constant hunger and stomach pains. I also often had dysentery and colds. In the winter of 1942 I fell ill with severe typhoid fever. My parents were also both ill and my mother always told me I had to be quiet, otherwise we would be taken away. During this time I was often beaten, whenever people were not satisfied with my work. When the Lodz ghetto was liquidated, I was taken on a transport to Auschwitz with my parents, who were both already very ill. In Auschwitz, my parents were sent to the other side and I never saw them again. After that I was alone.

Mosche Izikowitz

born on 2 March 1914 in Sidikei/Lithuania. Statement from 1957.

Biography: 02.03.1914 Sidikei/Lithuania. 1941 dispossession, Schaulen/Šiauliai ghetto, 1944 Stutthof concentration camp, 1944 Dachau concentration camp/Landsberg satellite camp, Israel.

After the Hitler hordes occupied our home town of Shauliai, they took away all my possessions. I and my whole family were imprisoned in the Shauliai ghetto. From that day on, my ordeal began: hard forced labour, hunger, beatings and the horror that every day my family could be taken away from me... One day the following happened: in 1943, during the big children's action in the Shauliai ghetto, when I returned from slave labour, I could no longer find my 2 1/2-year-old son Rachmiel and my parents; they were killed along with many other young Jewish children and elderly people. My nerves and my heart couldn't take it.

born 18 May 1915 in Lodz/Poland. Date of statement unknown.

Biography: dispossession, Jewish star, 1940 Lodz ghetto, 1944 Auschwitz concentration camp, Flossenbürg concentration camp/Siegmar-Schönau subcamp, Flossenbürg concentration camp/Hohenstein-Ernstthal subcamp, death march, 9 May 1945 liberation in Voskhana, lived in Italy, Cyprus, Israel, 1962 USA.

My ordeal began when the Nazis occupied my home. Even in the first few months I was driven to do various clearing jobs. Of course we were expropriated and our livelihood was taken away from us.

Ruth Klejman

Born on 28 February 1928 in Rokitno/Poland. Statement from 1966.

Biography: lived until 1941 in  Rokitno 7/1941-10/1942 Rokitno ghetto, escape during liquidation, in hiding until liberation in 1944, Lublin, early 1946 Displaced Persons Camp Eschwege, emigrated illegally via Italy via Cyprus to Palestine at the end of 1947/beginning of 1948.

I was hit in the face during an abuse, fell to the ground unconscious and suffered a broken nose at the time. During the liquidation of the ghetto, all the Jews were gathered together and shootings took place. I saw my mother get hit and fall over. Scared to death, I ran off into the woods. I was starving and freezing and lived in terrible fear of being discovered or handed over to the Gestapo by the farmers; I also always remembered the image of my bleeding mother.

Sam Peter (Piotrkowski, Szloma)

born on 17 July 1909 in Lodz/Poland. Expert opinion by Dr Pineas dated 15 April 1967.

Biography: Secondary school, employed as an accountant until 1936, 1936-1939 wholesaler for pulses, November 1939 to August 1944 Lodz ghetto, August 1944 to October 1944 Auschwitz concentration camp, October 1944 to January 1945 Auschwitz concentration camp/Golleschau subcamp, January 1945 to May 1945 Groß Rosen concentration camp/Brünnlitz subcamp, Zeilsheim displaced persons camp, 1951 USA. Lost eight of his nine siblings and his parents.

Sara Suchowolski

born 21 August1922 in Parczew/Poland as Sara Korn, sworn statement from 1962.

Biography: born 21 August 1922 in Parczew/Poland, née Korn. 1936-1939 commercial school Parczew. 1939 - autumn 1942 Parczew/Ghetto Parczew, survived mass shooting in autumn 1942, escape, Israel, application date 1962.
Note: Reserve Police Battalion 101 may have been involved, as it was in the area at the time.

When the Germans occupied my home, I had to do very hard forced labour in all sorts of weather, such as digging potatoes and other field work [reports of illnesses such as dysentery, typhus, fever, rheumatism]. We were all taken to the forest in the autumn of 1942 and the Germans started shooting at us. I grabbed my sister by the hand and we ran away, hiding in the bushes and escaped with our lives. When it got dark, we crawled back and found my mother and brother robbed and shot. We got ourselves a shovel and buried them. My father was not among the dead, we found him alive later.

Basia Szuch

born 20.5.1919 in Wladimir-Wolynsk/Poland. Maiden name and date of statement unknown.

Biography: born on 20 May 1919 in Wladimir-Wolynsk/Poland. 1941 to September 1943 Vladimir-Wolynsk ghetto, September 1943 to August 1944 in hiding, 1945 West Germany, USA.

Two of my brothers were shot dead on the street within the first two weeks. This was a terrible shock for me. I myself was sent to the ghetto with my husband, parents and siblings and was put to hard forced labour, such as cleaning work and field work. We were often mistreated and beaten at work. The German guards came into the fields and beat us if we couldn't work fast enough. But the worst thing for me was that I was pregnant. I gave birth to a daughter who died after nine months because we didn't have enough to eat. My state of health was indescribable. If my husband hadn't been there, I wouldn't have survived. Shortly afterwards, my father and brother-in-law died. I contracted typhoid fever and received no medical help. Our situation was hopeless. We tried to escape but were discovered. My husband was injured. We lived in the ghetto until 1943. When we heard that the third ghetto was to be liquidated and all survivors murdered, we tried to escape again. I was seriously injured during this escape.

Fajga Zaborowska

born in January 1915  in Opole Lubelski as Fajga Zalzman. Statement of 4 October 1960.

Biography: born in January 1915 in Opole Lubelskie, née Zalzman. 1939 Jewish star, forced labour, 1941 Opole Lubelksie ghetto, 9/10 May 1942 escape, July 1944 liberation by Soviet troops, Lublin, 1946 Berlin-Schlachtensee, Wasseralfingen, 1949 Israel.

Opole-Lubelski was occupied by German troops in September 1939. From the end of November 1939, like all Jews, I had to wear the white armbands with the Jewish star and move with my parents to the ghetto, which had been set up by the Germans in the meantime, at the beginning of 1940. The ghetto was cordoned off from the rest of the Polish population with barbed wire and guarded. There was a Jewish council within the ghetto, to which the Jewish police were subordinate in order to maintain order. With the exception of the elderly and sick, all able-bodied Jews in the ghetto had to perform forced labour.
In June 1940, I married Mr Shlomo (Szlama-Salman) ZABOROWSKY, my present husband, in the ghetto.
We were assigned to work in a labour group, which was taken to the nearby Niezdow estate at the crack of dawn every day. The Niezdow estate was under the direct control of the German military authorities. German military and S.D. were also stationed there.
The "resettlement" began in the first days of May 1942. From the ghetto. We were told that the transports would go to the Poniatow concentration camp. My parents were assigned to the first transport and left on the night of 8 May 1942. Since that time I have never received any more signs of life from them, so there can be no doubt that they perished.

(Fajga Zaborowska, geb. Zalman, Aussage vom 4.10.1960, siehe auch Leben in der Illegalität. Niedow== Niezdow, see Opole Lubelski )

Franja Trombkowski

Born on 16 May 1926 in Strzemieszyce/Poland. Statement from 1962.

Biography: March 1940 to May 1941 Ortskommandantur Strzemieszyce, May 1941 to 22 June 1943 Skopek Strzemieszyce, 23 June1943 to April 1944 forced labour camp Ottmuth, 4/1944-4/1945 KZ Groß Rosen/satellite camp Ludwigsdorf, April 1945 to 6 May 1945 KZ Groß Rosen/ satellite camp Görlitz.

Immediately after the Germans invaded Sztrzemieszyce, although I was only 13 years old, I was called up to do heavy cleaning work and later also welding work. The unaccustomed hard labour weakened me a lot and I also became very nervous because the welding work was very responsible.  In mid-1943, my grandmother, aunts and uncles were shot in front of my eyes and my parents were taken away, leaving me alone. [...].

I should also note that I had to work in Ludwigsdorf in the ammunition factory at Trypulver, which had a very bad effect on my bronchitis  and made it much worse.