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Casting of the doorway surround from the Łódź ghetto Hospital No.1


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    Brief Narrative
    Fiberglass casting of the entrance doorway surround of the Łódź ghetto Hospital No.1 (later the Helena Wolf Hospital), commissioned by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for installation in the museum’s permanent exhibition. 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. 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.
    manufacture:  after 1989 August 15-before 1991 March 18
    depiction: Litzmannstadt-Getto (Łódź, Poland); Łódź (Poland)
    manufacture: West Sussex (England)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    Manufacturer: Edward Lawrence Associates (Export) Limited

    Physical Details

    Architectural Elements
    Object Type
    Doorways (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Gray-painted, fiberglass casting of a concrete doorway surround, in three parts (a-c), for an original wooden door (1989.335.1 a-e). The door is set back into the frame, creating a recessed entrance.
    a. Left pilaster with a textured surface, carved in a stepped shape, descending from right to left. In addition to the textured surface, there are impressions of horizontal saw marks and multiple sets of rivets and screws. The section closest to the door has the impression of a rectangular plaque, including impressions from an oblong metal label, a screw, and a washer.
    b. Right pilaster with a textured surface, carved in a stepped shape, descending from left to right. In addition to the textured surface, there are impressions of multiple sets of rivets and screws. The section closest to the door has a chunk missing, exposing the fiberglass material beneath the paint.
    c. Cantilevered canopy of the doorway surround, which sits atop the two supporting sides, mirroring the stepped pattern on either side. In the center, a triangle projects outward from the doorway, extending past the pillars. Around the outside edge of the full hood is a two-tiered decorative molding. The bottom tier has short, narrow, vertical ribbing. The upper tier extends further outward from the bottom tier in a slightly coved drip molding and has wider decorative ribbing.
    a: Height: 123.375 inches (313.373 cm) | Width: 38.750 inches (98.425 cm) | Depth: 25.000 inches (63.5 cm)
    b: Height: 123.375 inches (313.373 cm) | Width: 38.500 inches (97.79 cm) | Depth: 24.500 inches (62.23 cm)
    c: Height: 13.250 inches (33.655 cm) | Width: 84.750 inches (215.265 cm) | Depth: 48.625 inches (123.508 cm)
    overall : fiberglass, paint

    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 doorway surround casting was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991.
    Primary Number
    CA91.1.5 a-c
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-20 07:11:42
    This page:

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