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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shocking and heart rendering account of life and death in the Lodz ghetto, 11 July 2010
This review is from: Ghettostadt: Lodz and the Making of a Nazi City: Lodz and the Making of Nazi City (Hardcover)
This book is a must for anyone interested in the Holocaust and the dreadful situation the European Jews found themselves in during World War Two. Gordon Horwitz not only describes life in the ghetto but also the overall aim of what nazi germany wanted Poland to become under their leadership. It seems the nazis wanted Lodz to become a bustling german metropolis, with ethnic poles being forcibly removed to make way for ethnic german settlers from the Reich. Of course the new Lodz had to be the cleanest city in the occupied territory, which meant the total removal of its 200,000 strong jewish population. Whats mainly so heartbreaking is the total lack of humanity and disgusting brutality of the SS and gestapo, towards the innocent jewish population. We are told of uniformed gestapo men smashing the heads of jewish children against the walls of ghetto buildings, adults being thrown out of windows, hung on the spot without trial, and loaded onto trains to the gas chambers at the Chelmno death camp. All this terror was a daily occurence for ghetto residents who also had to deal with starvation, illness and horrendous working conditions emposed on them by the controversial Ghetto Elder Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski. Rumkowski believed that the germans would preserve the ghetto if it produced equipment essential to the german war effort. He was almost proved right as the Lodz ghetto survived the longest, but was eventually liquidated in August 1944 with the Red Army close by. Had they held on a few more weeks the Red Army would have liberated an estimated 70,000 jews from the ghetto. Alas Rumkowski and the remaining jews would perish at Auschwitz on the last transport out of the ghetto. This book is interesting,shocking and at times upsetting and makes for compelling reading. A must read for anyone interested in the darkest chapter of human history.
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