In Kovno, as in other ghettos, slave labor was the justification for the ghetto's continued existence. Initially all male Jews between the ages of 17 and 60 and women between the ages of 17 and 47 were forced to work. Later these age limits were broadened. Shifts frequently lasted twelve hours and usually consisted of heavy, menial labor. Most Jews worked in labor brigades outside the borders of the ghetto. Other Jews found work within the ghetto in workshops for the manufacture and repair of products. Work shirking, though never eliminated, was punishable by prison sentence. Some paid underage workers known as "malachim" or angels to work in their stead. Every day thousands of Jews assembled at the ghetto's main gate, from which they were marched to a variety of worksites throughout the city. These included warehouses, depots, factories, meat-packing plants, farms, and military field hospitals and procurement offices. However, the largest brigade was sent to construct a military airport in the suburb of Aleksotas. Initially, one quarter of the ghetto and over half of the work force worked at the airfield, though this decreased with time. Workers walked to the airport in all types of weather without adequate clothing and footwear. There, they dug tunnels, hauled concrete, loaded and unloaded aircraft. The airfield brigade was not only the largest but also the least desirable work detail. A class system developed in the ghetto between those forced to work at the airfield and those who could find work elsewhere.
The Kovno ghetto Jewish police force was created on order of the German occupation authorities in July 1941, even before the ghetto was sealed. The policemen, who were initially recruited from the ranks of Jewish veterans and sportsmen, were issued separate armbands to set them apart from the rest of the ghetto population. Their primary function was to maintain order and discipline in the ghetto and to enforce the orders of the Jewish Council. The police worked closely with every Council office, particularly the labor department. With time, the police assumed additional responsibilities. Following the outlawing of a separate ghetto judiciary in August 1942, the police assumed responsibility for the ghetto's courts, which handled both civil and criminal disputes. It also became the role of the ghetto police to produce fellow Jews for forced labor brigades, maintain the two ghetto jails, and enforce German orders, including the round-up of Jews for deportation. Some ghetto residents held the police responsible for the policies it had to enforce and accused it of cooperating with the Germans. Yet, most of the police maintained high moral standards and gradually gained the respect of the population. On November 11, 1942, every member of the police force signed an oath pledging to act for the welfare of the Jewish community. In fact, several members of the police, including its commander Moshe Levin and his deputies Yehuda Zupovitz and Ika Grinberg, were active in the underground resistance movement. The Kovno ghetto Jewish police force was brought to an abrupt end during the infamous police action of March 27, 1944. German SS officers, seeking information about the ghetto's underground and hiding places, ordered the 140 members of the Jewish police to assemble. They were immediately arrested and taken to the Ninth Fort, where 36 of them, including Levin, Zupovitz and Grinberg, were executed. Others were tortured and then released. A few policemen, including Tanchum Arnshtam, revealed information about ghetto hideouts, and they became the nucleus of a new police force that worked directly with the Germans.
See Also "Kauen Main Camp" in Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos Volume 1 Part A.
See "Kauen" in Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, Volume 1 Part A
See Also https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/kovno.