Feedback

Advanced Search Filters

In addition to or instead of a keyword search, use one or more of the following filters when you search.

Bookmark this Item

Calendar from the Łódź Ghetto

Calendar from Łódź ghetto, disributed by the ghettos Jewish council.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
View this Equipment

tags: bureaucracy community ghettos Judaism

type: Equipment

In early 1940, the German authorities in occupied Poland established the Łódź ghetto to isolate and imprison the city's 160,000 Jews. By 1943, the ghetto held more than 200,000 Jews from across Europe in miserable living conditions, with little food or or access to medicine.1

The Łódź Jewish Council (Judenrat) printed and distributed this calendar for the year 1942. Like other Nazi-controlled Jewish councils across Europe, they were tasked with carrying out Nazi orders and administering the basic functions of ghetto life.2 Historians of the ghetto noted that the calendar helped in “forming a concise history of the ghetto.”3 Editions were printed for the years 1941–1944, with a run of approximately 6,000 copies each year. The calendars were intended for official use, given to ghetto bureaucrats and displayed in businesses and in offices.4 Most Jews who were forced to live in the ghetto would not have had a copy of this calendar.5

The front side of the calendar is written in German and Yiddish. At the top, “Litzmannstadt-Ghetto” is printed in both languages, using the German name for the city of Łódź. The front of the bilingual poster also provides the Gregorian calendar (in German) and the Jewish calendar, appearing in Yiddish. The year 1942 is accompanied by Hebrew characters that stand for the corresponding Jewish calendar year.6 The times of the sunsets that begin and end the Sabbath are listed below the months in Yiddish.7

The reverse side of the calendar lists “Notable Dates for All Established Departments, Shops, Offices, and Other Communal Institutions” for the period of October 14, 1939, to the end of 1941.8 The dates are categorized by month and provide important information about life in the ghetto. For example, under the month of January, the calendar notes the foundation of the House of Culture in January 1941.9 In the section for the month of March, we learn that the first publication of the Geto tsaytung (“The Ghetto Newspaper”) appeared on March 7,1941. The editor of the newspaper, Szmul Rozenstein, also edited the 1943 calendar and likely the 1942 calendar, as well.10 Streets appear with Polish names and not the occupiers' imposed German.11 These addresses and other information provide a map of the ghetto and an outline of its administration.12

The number of departments, offices, and businesses listed here—almost 200 in total—reflects the efforts of Jewish council chairman Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski to organize a "productive" ghetto to prevent deportations.13 The front side includes his photograph on the upper left hand corner. On the reverse side, two dates are listed in larger font: “President” Rumkowski’s birthday on March 3, 1941, and the anniversary of his late wife Ida Rumkowski’s death (yahrzeit) on December 14, 1941. The reverse side also reproduces a series of Rumkowski’s mottos.14

The calendar's official representation of life in the ghetto omits the tragic, personal realities of Łódź during the Holocaust. Noting the Health Department’s foundation on October 20, 1939, the calendar does not relate the very high rates of death due to hunger and outbreaks of disease. A ghetto Housing Department was established on January 23, 1940, yet the calendar reveals nothing of the extremely overcrowded, unsanitary conditions in Łódź, where more than 200,000 people were crammed together in less than three square miles. Perhaps the most brutal and "notable" events of 1942—the deportations of over 75,000 Jews from Łódź to the Chełmno killing center—do not appear in the calendar's chronology.

Two years later, in early 1944, Łódź was the last remaining ghetto in German-occupied Poland. German authorities sent almost all 60,0000 Jews still alive in the ghetto to their deaths in Auschwitz that summer.

For more on life and death in the Łódź ghetto, see the related items in Experiencing History, Forty-two Weddings in the  Łódź Ghetto, "Family Life" in the Łódź GhettoMemoir of Fryderyk Winnykamień, and the Diary of Irene Hauser.

For more information on the troubling role of the Jewish Councils, see Isaiah Trunk, Łódź Ghetto: A History, trans. and ed., Robert Moses Shapiro (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), 32–39; and Dan Michman, The Emergence of Jewish Ghettos During the Holocaust (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011).

See Lucjan Dobroszycki, ed., The Chronicle of the Łódź Ghetto, 1941–1944 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984), 289. The chroniclers here refer to the 1943 calendar as having a similar function to the 1942 calendar. For more sources, see this bibliography of the ghetto. The 1943 and 1944 calendars were also printed in pocket format, and that may have been the case in 1942, as well. See this example of the 1944 pocket calendar. The interior pages can be seen here. The calendar belonged to Bernard Fleming, who discussed it in a 1996 oral history.

See lan Rosen, The Holocaust's Jewish Calendars: Keeping Time Sacred, Making Time Holy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019), 31. For more information on and analysis of the Łódź calendars, see Rosen, 30-38.

For example, Solomon Fox refers to the lack of a calendar in the ghetto. He remarks that the dates of major events he experienced in the Łódź ghetto might be slightly off in his testimony.

For more information, see Rabbi David Feinstein, The Jewish Calendar: Its Structure and Laws (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah, 2003).

The times appear along with notes on weekly segments of scripture from the Torah, as well as the dates of festivals and holidays. Another item featured in Experiencing History, Alexander Keuchel's tefillin, reveals other aspects of Jews' attempts to mark the passage of time during the Holocaust.

This side only includes the Gregorian calendar but the words are in Yiddish, likely more legible to the prisoners of the ghetto than German. 

For more on the House of Culture in Łódź, see the related item in Experiencing History, Violin Hidden in the Łódź Ghetto.

Dobroszycki, Chronicle of the Łódź Ghetto, 289.

 For example, Limanowskiego, or Limanowski Street, was renamed Alexanderhofstrasse. Isaiah Trunk, Łódź Ghetto, 412.

For more information and a detailed map of the Łódź Ghetto, see Trunk, Łódź Ghetto. The locations of the offices described can also be mapped out on this scale model of the ghetto or in this map. See also this animated map.

For more information on Rumkowski, see Richard L. Rubenstein, "Gray into Black: The Case of Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski," in Gray Zones: Ambiguity and Compromise in the Holocaust and its Aftermath, ed. Jonathan Petropoulos and John K. Roth (Berghahn Books, 2005), 299–310; Gordon J. Horwitz, "An Overwhelming Presence: Reflections on Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski and His Place in Our Understanding of the Łódź Ghetto" in Jewish Histories of the Holocaust: New Transnational Approaches, ed., Norman J.W. Goda (Berghahn Books, 2014), 55–72. See also the item Petition of Asna Zhurkovska in Experiencing History. 

For example, one reads: "The five mottos of President Rumkowski that he put out at his arrival in the ghetto: work, bread, care of the ill, supervision of children, calm in the ghetto." Another Rumkowski motto was "our only path [to survival] is [through] work!"

"Colonial goods" usually refers to coffee, tea, spices, rice, sugar, cocoa and chocolate, and tobacco.

Possibly a facility for juveniles.

Possibly meaning "laborers."

Polish: "Social Aid."

Likely a place to acquire dentures.

"Laundry" possibly refers to undergarments.

Likely referring to newly-arrived Jewish deportees to Łódź.

Literally, "milk lips," perhaps something to do with nursing or breastfeeding.

 

Close Window Expand Source Viewer

This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: .

 

Notable Dates for all Established Departments, Shops, Offices, and other Communal Institutions for the years 1939 (starting on October 14), 1940, and 1941


Month

Date/Year Established

 

January

1/1941 Central book depository

1/1941 The Main Fund [kase] (earlier, Fund for [illegible])

1/1941 The [illegible] Department

1/1941 The Cards [kartn] Department 

1/1941 Transportation Department

1/1941 Tailors’ shop (10 Podzhechna St.)

2/1940 The first Urgent Aid [ambulance/emergency health service]

2/1941 The marketplace, sorting place and cleaning place for downs and feathers

15/1940 Hospital no. 3 on Vesola-Bazarna St.

20/1941 The Bakers [or baked goods] Office [referat]

23/1940 The Housing Department [literally, “the apartments department”]

25/1941 Leather and saddles Shop

29/1941 Forms [talonen] Department for the Sick, the Weak, and Children

29/1941 The first Diet store “R/I”

 

February

1/1941 The “House of Culture”

8/1940 Publication of the order to establish a ghetto in Balut

8/1941 Pharmacy no. 6, 5 Ribna St.

10/1941 The move of the orphanage with 500 orphans from 102 Marishiner St. to the building on 76/78 Frantsishkaner St., with capacity for around 700 orphans

15/1940 Arrival in ghetto begins

18/1940 The first community store for colonial goods1

22/1940 The second community store for colonial goods

23/1940 The third community store for colonial goods

23/1941 The move of the home fotr the elderly from 7 Mitskievitch Str. to the special, modern, rebuilt house on 74 Dvorska St., with capacity for 250 elders

27/1941 The Paper Department

 

March

1/1940 Di ordnugnsdinst komando [ghetto police]

1/1940 The home for the disabled  [“cripples’ home”]

1/1941 The Metal Department, 17 Krutka St.

1/1941 The carpentry shop, 9 Putska St.

2/1941 The press bureau [referat] at the [illegible] in Balut

3/Purim Birthday of President M. H. Rumkovski

7/1941 Publication of the first issue of the “Geto tsaytung” [“The Ghetto Newspaper”]

7/1941 The hatmakers’ shop 

8/1941 Urgent court introduced

10/1940 The Sanitary Control

11/1940 Electric supply for the ghetto taken over

12/1940 Orphanages on 10 Dvorska St., 21 Ribna St., and 85 Frantsishkaner St.

15/1940 The Post Office

26/1941 The shop for art supplies

28/1940 Pharmacy no. 1, 9 Stari rinek Sq. 

 

April

3/1940 Clinic [ambulatorium] no. 1, 40 Lutomierska St.

6/1941 The second Diet Store “R/II”

6/1941 The Main Commission for Trades

7/1941 The community took over the private press

8/1940 Pharmacy no. 2, 37 Limanovski St.

9/1941 Hospital no. 5, 8 Garbarska St.

10/1940 Hospital no. 7 on Marishin St.

15/1940 Firefighters Department

17/1940 Agriculture office [referat]

18/1941 The [unclear] office [referat] over orphans and poor children

19/1940 The Home for the elderly on Mitskievitsh St. (126 elders of both sexes)

29/1940 Hospital no. 1, 34/36 Lagevnitska St. 

 

May

1/1940 The first workshops on 45 Lagevnitska St.

1/1940 Finance Department

1/1940 Sanitation Department

1/1940 Nursery

7/1940 The Secretariat on the Balut square

8/1940 Coal Department

10/1940 The reporting bureau [meld byuro; I think this might be a place where they take down personal information of ghetto inmates]

10/1941 Carpentry for ghetto construction [oysarbetungn]

11/1940 The first four ghetto police units

13/1941 Woodworking workshop

18/1941 The preventorium2 for children, 55 Lagenvitska St.

20/1941 Special vegetable points

21/1941 Brush workshop

27/1940 Distribution points for colonial goods and vegetables

28/1940 Chimneysweepers Department

30/1941 The metal workshop, 12 Smugova St.

30/1941 Bureau [referat] for administrative punishment at the Balut square

 

June

1/1940 Infirmary no. [illegible], 34/36 Lagenvitska St.

1/1940 Pharmacy no. 4, 34/36 Lagenvitska St. 

1/1941 Merging of the orphanages; 85 Frantsishkaner St., 10 Dvorska St. and [illegible] Ribna St. transferred to the building on [illegible] Marishiner St.

1/1941 Electrotechnical workshop

2/1940 The “price control” [illegible] at the ghetto police

4/1940 The opening of the [illegible] chapter on 1 Ribna St.

4/1940 Statistical office

5/1940 Research office

10/1940 Office of Construction

10/1940 Department of Tobacco

11/1940 Personnel Department

11/1940 Pharmacy no. 3, [illegible]

15/1940 The tailors’ workshop, 8 [illegible] St.

15/1941 Department of Gas Kitchens

20/1941 Brushes workshop, 63 [illegible] St.

24/1940 A special distribution point [illegible] on Marishin Str.

26/1940 Currency-issuing bank [emisiye bank] on 71 [illegible] Str., chapter on 56 Limanovski St.

27/1940 Hospital no. 2, 75 [illegible] St.

27/1940 Collecting point for [illegible]

28/1941 Carpets workshop

28/1941 Labor bureau [referat]

 

July

1/1940 Milk points

1/1940 Department of [illegible] works

1/1940 Special Department

1/1941 The increase of [illegible] (“zashilek”) to 50 prats.3

8/1940 Introduction of “market [illegible]” (ghetto money)

8/1941 The third wash- and disinfection station, 23 Valborski St.

10/1940 Shoemakers’ workshop

10/1940 Civil Service Office

12/1940 Pharmacy no. 5, [illegible]

12/1940 Blanketmakers’ workshop

14/1940 Carpenters’ workshop

16/1941 The marmalade factory

18/1940 The first wash- and disinfection station, 23 Lutomierska St.

18/1941 Hospital no. 4, 7 [illegible] Lane

22/1941 Juvenile court

24/1941 Rehabilitation home “[illegible]”

27/1940 Orphanage on [illegible] St. for Orthodox children

28/1940 Tailors’ workshop, 16 [illegible] St.

28/1940 Carpenters’ workshop, 3 [illegible] St.

29/1941 Guardians’ circle [illegible] of the minors

 

August

4/1940 Upholsters’ workshop

5/1941 Laundry, 5 Mlinarska St.

5/1941 The buying station for old materials

10/1940 The tannery

11/1940 The second “Urgent Aid” [ambulance/emergency room]

11/1941 The special rehabilitation home for children, Marishin St.

14/1940 The second wash- and disinfection station, 39 Valborska St.

15/1940 Textile finishing factory

15/1940 The painters’ workshop

18/1940 The children’s colony on Marishin St.

18/1940 House shoes workshop

20/1940 The Rabbinate office

20/1940 Tailors’ workshop, 53 Lagevnitska St.

21/1941 The rubber factory, 36 Limanovski St.

23/1940 Metal workshop

26/1940 Sausage factory

 

September

1/1940 The first milk kitchen for nursing children, 34/36 Lagevnitska St.

1/1941 Koyber [?] workshop

1/1941 Takeover by the community of the private pharmacy at 8 Koshtshelni Sq.

1/1941 The cork factory

1/1941 Dry cleaning facility

8/1940 Central buying station

9/1941 Electrical transport tram introduced

14/1941 Kitchen control/inspection

15/1940 Attack order (executed on 25 September 1941)

17/1940 Tailors’ workshop, 2 Mlinarska St.

18/1940 Tailors’ workshop, 13 Zhabie St.

20/1940 Liquidation of “Opieka spoletshna”4 and the establishment, in its stead, of Department of Support, which has taken over support for all the jobless in the ghetto

22/1940 The court

26/1940 Workshop for felt- and house-shoes

28/1940 Tailors’ workshop, 10 Dvorska St.

28/1940 Gas department

28/1941 Workshop for repair of straw/knitted shoes

 

October

1/1940 Central bureau for all labor workshops on Balut square

6/1940 Artificial teeth laboratory5

8/1940 Furs workshop

9/1941 Department of philately

10/1940 Knitters’ workshop

14/1939 President Rumkovski nominated for the position of Elder of the Jews

15/1939 President Rumkovski takes over the community apparatus

15/1940 Secretariat for appeals and proclamations, 1 Dvorska St.

15/1940 Unification of Finance and Economy departments

16/1939 Provisions Department

17/1941 Beginning of construction of the network of new tram lines for the transport purposes of factories and provisioning

20/1939 Health Department

21/1941 Clothes Department

24/1941 The Diet Store “R/III”

26/1940 Laundry Department, 85 Frantsishkaner St.6

28/1940 Laundry and Clothing workshop, 14 Dvorska St.

28/1941 Sawdust [holts-vol] factory

31/1939 Schools and Education Department

31/1940 Rubber factory

 

November

1/1940 Hosiery workshop

1/1941 Taylors’ workshop, 14 Yakoba St.

3/1941 Nail factory

5/1940 The fifth police department

7/1940 Supreme Inspection Chamber (“NIK”)

10/1941 Plant for processing chemical waste

12/1940 Rubber coats factory, 4 Myodova St.

13/1940 Hats workshop

15/1940 Meat central station

16/1941 Corsets workshop

18/1940 Central prison

23/1939 Information Department

23/1940 Laundry (Marishin St.)

24/1940 Milhvarg department8

29/1940 Department of the Economy

29/1940 Labor Service

 

December

1/1940 Kitchens/cooking Department

1/1940 Shoemakers’ workshop, 75 Bzhezhiner St.

1/1940 Shoemakers’ workshop, Marishin St.

1/1940 Gloves- and socks workshop

1/1941 Car repair workshop

3/1941 “Department for the Newly-Arrived”

4/1941 Clinic no. 4, 40 Bzhezhiner St.

6/1941 Special elderly people’s homes on Vzheshnienska and Gniezhnienska for 1,500 old people of the newly-arrived

14/ Yartsayt of Mrs. Ita Rumkovska z’’l

15/1940 Tailors’ workshop, 49 Lagevnitska St.

15/1941 Gaiters finishers’ workshop

21/1939 Clinic no. 2, 17 Zgerzher St.

28/1941 The new and large milk kitchen for babies and small children, 10 Bzhezhiner St.

29/1940 Tailors’ workshop, 28 Novomayska St.

30/1941 Children’s hospital no. 6 (37 Lagevnitska St.) finished, with around 300 beds




Selected Maxims by the Elder of the Jews

Which He Expressed on Various Occasions

 

Five Maxims that Prezes Rumkovski Stressed upon Arrival in Ghetto:

  1. Work

  2. Bread

  3. Care of the Sick

  4. Care of the Children

  5. Peace and Order in Ghetto

 

“My Primary Concern is the Well-Being [or Welfare] of the Ghetto!”

“[Illegible] should be done with open arms!”  (From a Speech in a Diet Store)

“Our Only Way Forward is—Work [or Labor]!”

“Work [or Labor] is Our Passport to Peace!” [“peace” here is more like absence of worry, not the antonym of war]

“[Illegible] Good Labor is Always the Derekh Erets [i.e., an ethical and responsible way to live]!”

“Work Should be Performed with Joy!”

(from several speeches to workers)

“[Illegible] Must Learn a Trade!”

“All of Us are in [Illegible] Together!”

“Nobody in the Ghetto Should Be Hungry!”

“My Entire Being is Dedicated to Ghetto Problems!”

“Work Without Worries, I Will Make Sure That Your Children Are Cared For!”

“With the Expansion of [illegible], Budget Support For [illegible] Will Be Reduced!”

“In Work, One Should Keep In Mind the Common Good!”

“Work Must Be Improved and [illegible]!”

(from several speeches to workers)

“My Only Joy are You, Little Children!”

“I Will Take Care of You Until My Last Breath!”

(from speeches to children)

“I Want to Be the Fiercest [illegible] of the Ghetto!”

“Each One of Us Needs to Secure the Existence Minimum!” [i.e., achieve a level of living that allows decency]

“Each Piece of Trash in the Ghetto Must be Turned into a Valuable!”

(From a speech to the leaders of the Workshops)

“When It Comes to the Common Good, No Individual Is Important!” (in the sense, no one’s individual interest comes before the common good)

“The Newly Arrived7 Jews Are Our Brothers and Sisters!”

“We Will Share With You [illegible]”

“In the Ghetto, Everyone Works for Each One, and Each One for Everyone!”

(From speeches to the newly arrived in the ghetto)

“We Did Not Chase You Away [i.e., expel], and We Did Not Bring You Here; Since You Are Here [illegible] We Will Treat You Like Brothers and Sisters!”

(From a speech to the expelled from the Altreich)

“What Cannot Be Done, Must Be Done!”

 

(Prezes’s Favorite Saying)”

Archival Information for This Item

Source (Credit)
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Accession Number 2018.617.5
Date Created
1941 to 1942
Dimensions 13.976 inches (35.499 cm) - Width: 11.220 inches (28.499 cm)
Material Cardboard, paper, ink.
Language(s)
German
Yiddish
Location
Łódź, Poland
Object Type Equipment
How to Cite Museum Materials

Thank You for Supporting Our Work

We would like to thank The Alexander Grass Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for Experiencing History. View the list of all donors and contributors.

Learn More
About New Teaching Resources and Scholarly Insights