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Entrance doors from Hospital No. 1 in the Łódź ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 1989.335.1 a- e

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    Brief Narrative
    Wooden doors of the Łódź ghetto Hospital No.1 (later the Helena Wolf Hospital), removed in 1989, prior to the building’s renovation. On September 1, 1939, German troops invaded Poland, and occupied Łódź the following week, renaming it Litzmannstadt. In February 1940, the German authorities established the Łódź ghetto in the existing slum of Baluty, and forced 160,000 Jews to relocate into one and a half square miles of space. The ghetto was surrounded by barbed wire fencing, and sealed on April 30. The authorities forced the Jewish residents to labor in textile factories, and the police exhibited brutal behavior towards them, and stole their valuables and other possessions. Most of the ghetto lacked running water or a sewer system, and overcrowding and starvation were rampant. The ghetto had seven hospitals, seven pharmacies, four clinics, and two emergency rooms. Hospital No.1 was located at 36 Lagiewnicka Street. The building was constructed for the National Health Service during the interwar period, and housed the Kasa Chorych Miasta Łódźi (Łódź City Hospital). Chaim Mordechaj Rumkowski, chairman of the Jewish council in the ghetto, had an apartment in one of the wings. Beginning in December 1941, Jews were transported from the ghetto to Chelmno killing center, and another 600 people were killed inside of the ghetto. On the night of September 1, 1942, under the orders of German authorities, the Jewish Order Police began dragging patients from their beds into trucks waiting outside. Some escaped through hospital windows, but were later rounded up along with their family members. Afterwards, the building was repurposed to hold uniform tailoring workshops, and in August 1944, it began operating as a camp for the 600 Jews who remained in the ghetto until October, when they were sent for forced labor in Germany.
    use:  approximately 1930-before 1989 December 07
    use: Litzmannstadt-Getto (Łódź, Poland); Łódź (Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Zespół Opieki Zdrowotnej Łódź-Bałuty

    Physical Details

    Architectural Elements
    Object Type
    Wooden doors (lcsh)
    Doors & doorways.
    Physical Description
    a. Two brownish-red doors with interior metal grills set in a frame that consists of two tall sides with side windows and a transom across the top. The frame is set within a fiberglass casting of the original concrete doorway surround (CA91.1.5a-c). Separated by a small lintel, each door has two windows with missing glass, separated by a central rail, with diamond shaped grills formed by two thin parallel metal bars connected by regularly spaced, small metal balls. Long, rectangular brass handles are attached to the front of the doors with L-shaped brackets on either end. On the right door, there is a key hole in the wood near the bottom of the handle. Further up is a flat, oval-shaped lock hasp attached to the door with a metal loop and a screw. On the left door, opposite the lock hasp, is a metal eye loop. Both sidelights in the frame flanking the doors contain ten square holes with filled with wooden backing panels and inverted Y-shaped metal grills. A large rectangular transom sits above the doors. The transom and sidelights originally held glass, but it has been replaced with a painted wood panel. The top left sidelight panel is broken and there is paint missing from above the center transom. Overall, the thick paint is buckled and peeling with several losses, and there are white accretions in several places. The upper, right handle bracket is loose, and there is a loss to the metal on the side.
    b. Long, rectangular, metal handle with a square-shaped cross-section, intended to be attached to a right-side door. The main handle consists of a cast iron bar, covered in a sheet of brass. At the top of the handle, an L-shaped brass fitting slips underneath the brass sheeting and is secured with two small fasteners on the sides. The fitting has a narrow lip just above where the handle attaches, bends at a ninety-degree angle to the left, and beds at another ninety-degree angle back to the door. It ends in a square plate that has two screw holes at the top and bottom. Near the bottom of the handle is an L-shaped brass fitting with a hollow cube at one end, through which the handle passes. The fitting beds at one ninety-degree angle, and ends in a square plate that has two screw holes. The bottom of the handle’s brass exterior is open-ended, exposing the core, and is cracked with some losses. There are two small nail holes on the front and back of the main shaft, and a small nail protrudes from the bottom between the layers. The brass sheeting is cracked along the handle’s sides, and the brass sections show wear and corrosion. The brass fittings and attachment plates have a coating of reddish-brown paint that is peeling and flaking.
    c. A rectangular piece of fiberboard attached to a narrow piece of wood trim by a single, small nail. There are four irregularly placed nail holes along the center of the fiberboard, which is covered in a reddish-brown layer of flaking paint and a white powdery residue. The wood trim is coated with the same paint and residue, and is broken on both ends, exposing the wood underneath. The wood is splitting down the middle, and a nail hole is partially visible within one of the cracks. Spaced along the front of the trim are three metal staples, with torn remnants of off-white paper stuck beneath two of them.
    d. Steel bolt fragment with a six-sided head and a smooth, unthreaded shank that has been broken off. It is bent with surface corrosion. The head has remnants of peeling, reddish-brown paint.
    e. Steel bolt fragment with a six-sided nut attached near the head, above the smooth, unthreaded shank, which has been broken off. The shank is slightly bent, and the flat end is corroded. The nut is also corroded, fixed in place around the shank and is splitting horizontally near the bottom.
    a: Height: 128.000 inches (325.12 cm) | Width: 84.750 inches (215.265 cm)
    b: Height: 29.250 inches (74.295 cm) | Width: 4.000 inches (10.16 cm) | Depth: 3.875 inches (9.843 cm)
    c: Height: 0.750 inches (1.905 cm) | Width: 12.500 inches (31.75 cm) | Depth: 2.250 inches (5.715 cm)
    d: Height: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm) | Width: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm) | Depth: 1.750 inches (4.445 cm)
    e: Height: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm) | Width: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm) | Depth: 0.875 inches (2.223 cm)
    a : wood, brass, iron, paint, fiberboard
    b : iron, brass, paint
    c : fiberboard, wood, metal, paint, paper
    d : iron alloy
    e : iron alloy

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Łódź (Poland)

    Administrative Notes

    The doors were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1989 by Zespół Opieki Zdrowotnej Łódź-Bałuty.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:21:13
    This page:

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