Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Freda Magnus - July 22, 1982

Life in the Łódź Ghetto

All right, before you brought your parents from Krakow--were they in a ghetto there? Was that a ghetto there?

There wasn't a ghetto yet, no. The first ghetto I think was in Łódź.

I see.

I think so.


Yeah, then later--you see then is ghetto in Warsaw even and in Poland was--in Łódź was different. You see in Łódź the ghetto was completely closed off. You couldn't--there was lines so, how you calling this?


No, looking on those...


Fences, yeah.


Wired fences...

Wired fences.

...you see. And we couldn't go out and then we had curfews and we couldn't go out more than to eight o'clock or to seven o'clock in the night. And when the ghetto closed up there were people coming in from all other around those places where there was no ghetto--was only German there and we wasn't allowed to go out. And start everybody again had to take in people, you know, to live in their houses and again they start 1940, they start taking out young men and women, you know, they said for work, but who knows where they ended. They took away my, my middle brother, you know.

How did they do that? They just came to the door?

Yeah, they just came in, you know, he was a young man--he was married already--but I don't know what they said--they took him away and send him away to Poznan and from this time we never heard about him. This was 1940. Then in 19...then they start taking--keep taking away young people every day, every day they was selecting people to go...

How did they know where the young people lived? Did they go to each house and knock on the door?

No, no they have--I don't know. They had a list from uh, from, from the city, from the city hall or from somewhere, you know. They knew the ages, they knew young men, young people, you know, and wherever they were they knew ??? you know, thought that they are--those people should be sent away.

So they used the city government records...


...to check.

Sure, sure, sure.

Uh, in the ghetto what was--was there enough food in the ghetto?

No, was never enough food but they, they gave us a month--let's say a bread for a whole week, see? And people--a lot of people they gave out uh, potatoes for a month, you know. They gave us uh, I don't know how they call it in Poland, I guess they call it, you know, ???, they called--those big ones what the horses used to eat.


I never knew about that. Anyway they gave us this in, in certain amounts, you know, in a hat, you know, for the family. But two could--that's how people was dying. A lot of people ate up the whole bread in one day and then the other seven days they was dying for hunger. And that's how they came out--people swollen, sick, you know. And then every time--every day they came to the backyard and they call out people should come out and they select sick people they took out, you know. Young people they took out and sent away, children they threw ou...threw--throw out, you know, or they came to the, to the um, hospitals and threw the sick people through the windows into the wagons to take away.

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