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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
February 1942, Deportation of the Jews of Lodz, Poland

February 1942

Deportation of the Jews of Lodz, Poland

In the photograph is a member of the Jewish Order Service (Judischer Ordnungsdienst) with two children in the Lodz Ghetto, during the period of the first deportations.  The Germans ordered the establishment of the Jewish Order Service in specific areas under German occupation. The Jewish councils (Judenraete) in those places tried to supervise the Order Service, to recruit suitable candidates and to establish behavioral norms, but in many cases, the Germans forced them to recruit people who would be prepared to obey orders unquestioningly. Some Jews saw the Order Service members as outsiders who constituted a danger to the community.  The first wave of deportations from the Lodz Ghetto lasted from January to May 1942, during which time some 55,000 of the 200,000 Jews in the ghetto were deported to the Chelmno death camp.  The deportations affected every Jew, including the families of the policemen and their acquaintances, and the members of the Jewish Order Service were forced to make a difficult choice.  Some abandoned the Service, even though it meant deportation to the death camps, while others continued to follow German orders.

For more information about the Jewish Order Service, click here.
For more information about the Lodz Ghetto, click here.

Yad Vashem Photo Archives, 1602/292