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Left shoe template of the type used in Łódź Ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 1990.285.12

Shoemaker's left shoe template, similar to those used by Jewish forced laborers in the Łódź Ghetto in German-occupied Poland from May 1940 to summer 1944. Łódź was occupied by Germany a week after the September 1939 invasion of Poland. It was renamed Litzmannstadt and in February 1940, the Jewish population of about 160,000 people was confined to a small, sealed-off ghetto. All residents had to work, and 85 percent of the ghetto population labored in nearly 100 factories. The major ones produced textiles, including uniforms for the German Army. Occupying authorities seized much of the specialized machinery from the Jewish population, forcing them to use hand techniques for production. Due to severe overcrowding and scarce food, disease and starvation were common. The Judenrat (Jewish Council) administered the ghetto for the Germans, and chairman Mordechai Rumkowski thought hard work and high output would preserve the ghetto. However, in January 1942, mass deportations to Chelmno killing center began; half the residents were murdered by the end of the year. In summer 1944, Łódź, the last ghetto in Poland, was destroyed and the remaining Jews were sent to Chelmno and Auschwitz-Birkenau killing centers.

use:  approximately 1900-approximately 1945
acquired: Poland
Tools and Equipment
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2023-05-31 12:52:18
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