Discovery of one of the hiding places of the archival materials of the Lodz Ghetto Archive at #13 Lutomierska Street, the former site of the fire department of the ghetto
The Lodz Ghetto Archive was established on November 17, 1940, by order of the Chairman of the Judenrat, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski. Originally tasked with preserving archival material of the Jewish community from before the war and of the communal institutions established in the ghetto, the archives eventually began to collect information on the history of the Lodz Ghetto. Their guiding principle in this task, as stated by their director Henryk Naftalin, was “creating a basis for future scholars to study Jewish society in one of its most trying periods.” In addition to conducting interviews, collecting materials, and producing historical monographs, the archives produced the Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto, regularly documenting for over three years the events and life of the ghetto. Along with the other materials of the archives, the parts of the Chronicle were hidden in different locations before the liquidation of the ghetto in 1944.
Lodz resident Nachman Zonabend, who managed to escape from the ghetto and remained in the city until liberation in January 1945, took one large section of the archives, including the Chronicle, out of the ghetto. The second set of archival materials was discovered in October 1946 at #13 Lutomierska Street, at the former site of the ghetto fire department. A third cache of archival materials was hidden in the Jewish cemetery, but was subsequently discovered by the Germans and destroyed.
Yad Vashem Photo Archives 7732/11