Observances marking Lodz ghetto liquidation anniversary start

Grzegorz Michałowski/PAP

A burial of Torah scrolls at the Lodz cemetery, central Poland, on Sunday, marked the beginning of observations commemorating the 77th anniversary of the liquidation of the World War II Litzmannstadt Ghetto in the city.

The main observances will be held on Sunday, August 27, at the Jewish cemetery and at the Lodz Radegast Station, from where Jews were transported to Nazi-German death camps. Also planned are religious and cultural events.

The Germans opened the Litzmannstadt Ghetto in February 1940 as the first one in the part of occupied Poland included into the Third Reich. A large percentage of the inmates were Jewish intellectuals from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria and Luxembourg. 

The second-largest ghetto in German-occupied Europe after the Warsaw Ghetto, it soon evolved into a major industrial centre producing war supplies for the German Army. 

Owing to its high productivity, the ghetto managed to survive until August 1944. The last transport left the Litzmannstadt Ghetto on August 29, 1944.

A total of 200,000 to 250,000 Jews are estimated to have passed through the Litzmannstadt Ghetto.