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Lodz Ghetto Album [Hardcover]

Thomas Weber , Martin Parr , Timothy Prus
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 July 2005
Henryk Ross (1910-1991) was a press photographer in Poland before World War II. As a Jew, he was incarcerated by the invading Germans in the Lodz Ghetto, where he became an official photographer. His duties afforded him access to film and processing facilities which he used to create a unique record of ghetto life, secretly photographing the atrocities of Lodz as well as scenes of family life among the ghetto "elite". Having survived the war, he was able to recover the 3000 negatives he had buried. A selection of these are presented here in a truly unique book.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Chris Boot; first edition edition (1 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954281373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954281373
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 21.4 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 625,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A stunning, challenging, and thought provoking book. --, 19 September 2004

Poignant. -- The Daily Telegraph, 25 September 2004

The photographs raise uncomfortable questions about divisions within the ghetto, and Ross's relationship with those he photographed is still unclear. -- The Guardian, 14 July 2004

[The Lodz Ghetto Album] reveals an unexpected side to life in Poland’s last remaining ghetto. -- The Sunday Times Magazine, 22 August 2004

From the Author

In terms of its scope, all other photographic records of ghetto life pale in comparison. These photographs have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of ghetto life. 'The Lodz Ghetto Album' demands us to revisit the social order of the ghetto and the scope of collaboration and resitance in the Holocaust. It will change our comprehension of human behaviour in the Holocaust. The dilemmas between collaboration and resistance were not confined to the Jewish Council and the Jewish Police, as held by the conventional wisdom. As the book reveals, all ghetto residents alike had to navigate competing loyalties and an almost-inevitable combination of heroism and compromise, collaboration and resistance.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tremendous but heart-breaking 23 Feb 2012
This is a tremendous and heart-breaking book which primarily shows the photographs taken by Henryk Ross who was a photographer employed in the Lodz ghetto which lasted from 1940 until it was liquidated in 1944. Very few people survived so this book which shows pictures taken from Ross's hidden photo-diary of ghetto life stands as testimony to the bravery of the inmates, mainly Jews, and the horrors created by the perpetrators. Most of my father's family died in the ghetto or in the nearby deathcamp Chelmno, so it's especially important for me to know what happened. But everyone needs to read this book and see the pictures to remind them what occurred not that long ago and what can happen again if/when the world loses its reason.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is also MY STORY! 13 Feb 2005
By Susan I. Cohen - Published on
I think this is a great book--I was there and it took me back to my childhood. My husband and I were liberated by the Russians in January 1945 after being slaves in the Ghetto. Most of our family perished and we soon left Poland and eventually came to America in 1949.

These photographs took me back 60 years to that life. In fact, it is possible that the photo of the young couple kissing is, in fact, my husband & I!

For anyone interested in what life in the Lodz Ghetto was really like, this is an excellent book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Contribution to Holocaust History 24 May 2010
By Marilyn Ludzki - Published on
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A relatively new and important addition to Holocaust photography, Henryk Ross risked his life in order to document the daily indignities, inhumane hardships, and calculated murder of the Jews trapped in the Lodz Ghetto. Since some of my family survived this Nazi-created community, I've searched other Lodz Ghetto and Holocaust literature for decades, seeking any evidence of family I never had the chance to meet. Only in the extraordinarlly courageous work of Henryk Ross work did I finally discover some photos of relatives. From the mundane of everyday existence to the horrors of daily hangings, Ross proves, literally in black-and-white, what life was like under Nazi rule. I don't think any collection of Holocaust history is complete without this unique book. The book even includes Ross's testimony at the Eichmann trial in Israel; testimony that was impossible to mock or minimize because of his ingenious decision to bury his photographs during the war and retrieve them following liberation. It's too bad that Henryk Ross's work was not more internationally recognized before he died (I think in the 1970s). When I look at books in my collection now with photo credits photos from different museums, hundreds of these unattributed photographs are actually by Ross--a truly important photojournalist.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The competing loyalties of Lodz 10 Dec 2012
By A. Chichester - Published on
"Modern war tries to reduce all loyalties to one. But in real life there are many and war does not get rid of them: loyalties to family, nation, class ideology, army unit, generation, institutions, community all continue and indeed are often accentuated under pressure of war. The reality that war often brings to the fore is that these are frequently cross-cutting and sometimes competing loyalties." - Bernard Wasserstein, as quoted by Thomas Weber in `Lodz Ghetto Album'

Henryk Ross, whose photographic work has been thoughtfully compiled in this remarkable volume, knew all about competing loyalties. A Jewish Pole employed as a sportswriter, Ross was forced into the ghetto at Lodz in January 1940, where he was employed as an official photographer of the Department of Statistics by the Jewish council. There Ross had a unique opportunity to document the day-to-day suffering and deprivation, as well as the frequent horror of beatings, executions, and deportations, both by Nazi persecutors and the council-appointed Jewish ghetto police.

These horrors, so firmly ensconced in the historical understanding of ghetto life during the Holocaust, are all portrayed in `Lodz Ghetto Album,' in sobering and heartbreaking detail. Ross, who against all odds survived the war, often put his life in grave danger in order to document these moments. He is owed a debt of gratitude for his bravery in documenting, in his own words, the "martyrdom" of his people.

Less conveniently, Ross also left behind a very different sort of photographic record, essentially unseen before the publication of this book. These photographs show the other side of ghetto life, one enjoyed by the ghetto elite; Jewish council members, policemen, and other "people with more money," as Ross calls them. Scenes of birthday parties, children playing, and young romance belie Ross's position as a man suffering the same miseries as the ghetto's most vulnerable victims.

And yet, as Weber rightly points out, the undeniable fact is that almost everyone who appears in `Lodz Ghetto Album' died at the hands of the Nazis soon after their photograph was taken. A survival rate of 0.5% cannot discriminate significantly for class or social strata. That Wasserstein's "competing loyalties" not only forced the ghetto elite of Lodz to make impossible and horrible decisions, but that it only delayed their inevitable murders, is doubly tragic. We have Ross to thank for capturing this dichotomy with his camera, even as his position of trust with the elites seems to have borne negative consequences for his post-war personal life.

Weber's narrative is illuminating and thought-provoking, and is a creditable companion to Ross's extraordinary work. The only source of regret is that there is not more acknowledgement of the tens of thousands in Lodz to whom the impossible choices would never be presented, but who were immediately picked out for death.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book on the World of The Lodz Ghetto 21 Dec 2013
By Richard Kazn Young - Published on
Verified Purchase
An amazing book taking you back in time to the World of the Lodz Ghetto 1939-1945, Henryk Ross survived the Holocaust, he was the second most important photographer and source, colleague of photographer Mendel Grosman who did not survive the Holocaust.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Amazon sent me a dirty book 29 Mar 2012
By Jabbalooba - Published on
Verified Purchase
OK, Henryk Ross book is not a dirty book. It's a great photographic account on the atrocities of The Third Reich. A beautiful, harrowing book. BUT our beloved Amazon sent me a very dirty copy. The cover paper was dirty, stains + something sticky on it. Dirt also inside the book, between the pages. Go figure...
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