Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

Shoemaker's lasting pliers of the type used in Łódź Ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 1990.285.4.4

Lasting pliers, similar to those used by Jewish forced laborers in the Łódź Ghetto in German-occupied Poland from May 1940 to summer 1944. Lasting pliers are used by shoemakers to grip a piece of leather, stretch it over the shoe form (or last), and hold it until the leather can be nailed in place. 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.

Date
use:  approximately 1900-approximately 1945
Geography
acquired: Poland
Classification
Tools and Equipment
Category
Hand tools
Object Type
Pliers (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Hand tools.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
 
Record last modified: 2020-08-27 11:23:03
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn3427