Religion and Religious Institutions in the Lodz Ghetto

  • Michal Unger
Chapter

Abstract

In view of the rupture that the Holocaust created in human history generally and Jewish history particularly, it is only natural that the subject of religious faith after the Holocaust has preoccupied thinkers in various disciplines, leading to an extensive literature on the subject.1 Thus, it is quite surprising that few serious historical studies have been written on religious life during the Holocaust itself and that detailed monographs about the ghettos in Eastern Europe overlook the matter. There must be various explanations for this fact, which deserves separate discussion but oversteps the ambit of this article.

Keywords

Europe Sewage Expense Milo Burial 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    I shall note several examples only: Eliezer Schweid, Wrestling Until Daybreak (Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 1990, Hebrew); Idem, Between Destruction and Salvation (Tel Aviv: 1994, Hebrew);Google Scholar
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  4. Alexander Donat, ‘A Voice from the Ashes’, Yalkut Moreshet, no.21, June 1976 (Hebrew), pp.105–138. This article provoked a debate between Moshe Unna and Prof. Yehuda Bauer on the pages of subsequent issues. No.22, pp.63–68; No.24, 1977, pp.23–25; No.25, 1978, pp. 117–120, 121–124.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
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  7. Dan Michman, ‘Research on the Way of Life of the Religious Public under Nazi Rule’, The Historiography of the Holocaust Period (Hebrew, 1987), p.607;Google Scholar
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  9. 9.
    For biographical details about Rumkowski, see Yani Shulman, ‘Rumkowski der eheste der yudn’, Bulletin of the Yitzhak Katznelson Ghetto Fighters’ House, No.20, April 1958 (Hebrew);Google Scholar
  10. Leonard Tushent, The Pavement of Hell (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1972), pp.5–10.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    Lodz Ghetto Chronicle, eds. Arye Ben Menahem and Yosef Rab, Vol. B (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1988, Hebrew), p.246 (hereafter: Chronicle);Google Scholar
  12. Zysze Harcsztark, Blood and Tears in the Lodz Ghetto (Jerusalem: Mossad Ha-Rav Kook, 1994, Hebrew — hereafter, Harcsztark), p.81.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Alter Shnorr, ‘Min ha-metsar’, Pages in Study of the Holocaust and the Uprising (Ghetto Fighters’ House, Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, First Collection, April 1951, Hebrew), pp.130–131 (hereafter, Alter Shnorr, ‘Min ha-metsar’);Google Scholar
  14. Isaiah Trunk, Lodzher geto (New York: Yad Vashem and YIVO, 1962, Yiddish), p.402 (hereafter, Isaiah Trunk, Lodzher geto).Google Scholar
  15. 16.
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  16. 21.
    Rosenfeld, YVA, 06/234, Notebook 2, 1 April 1942, p.20; Notebook 8, April 22, 1943, p.83; and Notebook 10, April 14, 1944, p.171; Riva Chirurg Cytryn, Here They Come (Milo, 1988, Hebrew), p.104; group interview by the author with former members of the Beney Akiva movement in the ghetto, YVA, 03/6743. The Committee of Rabbis organized a public Passover seder for groups of refugees from Central Europe. Shem Olam Institute, Faith and the Holocaust Institute for Education, Documentation, and Research, Kfar Haroeh, File 6, m.k.17 (hereafter: Shem Olam Institute).Google Scholar
  17. 27.
    Rosenfeld, 30 May 1943, YVA, 06/234, notebook 8, p.94. Girst, Kol Yisrael, 19 February 1947. Something similar occurred in other ghettos, too. In respect to the Warsaw ghetto, see Shimon Huberband, Martyrdom, pp.80–82. Dr. H. Shoshkes, Bieter fun a geto togbukh (Dr. H. H. Galanz, New York, 1943), p.42. For Vilnius, see Dr. M. Dworzecki, Jerusalem of Lithuania in Uprising and Holocaust (Tel Aviv: Mapai, 1951, Hebrew), p.280; for Kaunas.Google Scholar
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  19. 37.
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  20. 42.
    Julian Baranowski, ‘Martyrologia religijnych przywodcow Zydow w Rejencji Lodzkiej w latach 1939–1945,’ Martyrologia duchowienstwa Polskiego 1939–1956 (Lodz: Archidiecezjalne Wydawnictwo Lodzkie, 1992, Polish), p. 184.Google Scholar
  21. 71.
    Shaul Asch, ‘A German in the Lodz Ghetto’, Studies in Research on the Holocaust and Contemporary Jewry (Jerusalem: Hebrew University and Yad Vashem, 1973, Hebrew), p.308.Google Scholar
  22. 72.
    According to Jakob Nirnberg, Rumkowski argued that if he were to put together the deportation lists, he would ‘do it mercifully but the Germans would do it with murder’. The rabbis supported his decision. Jakob Nirnberg, ‘Di geshikhte fun Lodzer geto’, In di yorn fun idishn khurbn (New York, 1948, Yiddish), p.258. Benzion Borstein claimed that Rumkowski had asked the rabbis who, in thier opinion, should be sent out of the ghetto. The rabbis replied that they could tell him whom he must not deport, i.e., the young children and the ill. As for whom to deport, he must make the decision himself. YVA, P-5/14-a.Google Scholar
  23. 83.
    Yerahmiel Bricks, On Martyrdom (New York: 1970, Hebrew), p.176.Google Scholar
  24. 87.
    In regard to Lw6w, see Rabbi David Kahane, Lwów Ghetto Diary, p.98. In the Warsaw ghetto, the impressive sermons of Rabbi Kalonymos Kelmish Shapira, the Piaseczner Rebbe, survived. Mendel Pejkarz, ‘There Is Nothing With Which We Can Lament Our Woes’ — Sermons of the Piaseczner Rebbe in the Warsaw Ghetto’, in Polish Hasidism, Ideational Trends Between the Two Wars and in the Holocaust (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1990, Hebrew), pp.373–410; Dan Michman, ‘“Rightly Have You Humbled Me” — Trends in Faith during the Holocaust’, The Holocaust and Its Research, pp.226–230.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Michal Unger

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