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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
September 1942, A child deported during the “Sperre” in the Lodz Ghetto, Poland

September 1942

A child deported during the “Sperre” in the Lodz Ghetto, Poland

On September 5, 1942, the mass deportation known as the “Sperre” began - the roundup and removal of more than 15,000 children, elderly and ill Jews in a one-week period from the Lodz Ghetto. This Aktion profoundly shocked the Jews of the ghetto. Unlike elsewhere, news about the methodical mass murder of the Jews in Europe had not reached the Lodz Ghetto. Although during the deportations of early 1942 there was an illusion that the people were being sent to labor camps, the brutal Aktion of September made it clear to many that deportation meant death. Internalizing the information was extremely difficult and many Jews in the ghetto were unwilling and unable to believe it. Until September 1942 the Jews of the ghetto had a certain degree of internal "autonomy". Then the ghetto changed; hospitals, schools, the rabbinate and other institutions were closed, and the ghetto became a giant labor camp.

Yad Vashem Photo Archives 117AO4