Children harvesting vegetables in one of the public areas in the Kovno Ghetto, Lithuania
One of the most difficult problems of daily life in the Kovno Ghetto was hunger. With extreme limits on the amount of food allowed into the ghetto by the German authorities, the Jewish authorities constantly struggled with finding methods of alleviating starvation in the ghetto. Beginning in 1942, the Jewish authorities placed an obligation upon all of the residents of the ghetto to work any open land near their homes to grow vegetables. With the success of this agricultural program a new problem emerged: as a result of their hunger, many residents of the ghetto would pick the vegetables before they were fully ripened and allocated. In order to deal with this problem, a group of youth watchmen known as Eshel (Organization to Guard Gardens) was established, who would watch over and tend to the crops, ensuring that the vegetables were equally distributed.
Yad Vashem Photo Archives 7003/120