Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Moving into Łódż Ghetto

They were applauding?

Yeah. They were standing around on the roofs and applauding. So then they brought us in to the, to the Łódż ghetto. Then we came into a new world. The people who lived there, people who was growing up in a large city, they, they lost all the senses of a normal human being through those years. They adjusted them so that they thought if they will have enough to eat for their part the war can last for another hundred years. If they will have enough to eat, everything, all the problems, all the--there was one single obsession with those people: to eat. Because to--there was no such a situation that you can, that even, that anybody can help them how they smuggle in food, you know. Because the, the ghetto was just like a large concentration camp surrounded with barbed wires, an area I don't know for how many square miles. At that time, you know, before the war there was living in Łódż about three hundred thousand Jews, about fifty percent of the population was Jewish. And at that time when we came into the ghetto there were left about fifty, sixty thousand. The rest of them they were all liquidated by that time.

This was 1942.

Nineteen forty-two.

Do you remember the date?

It was in August. Some...sometimes between the 20th or the 21st or the 22nd of August, sometime in that, in that area. I know it was on a Monday morning.

You remember it was a Monday morning?

Yeah. So...

How did you get to Łódż? By train?

They put us on the-- on, on, on a cattle car. That's the way they transport all the Jews at that time. And they confused us, they--that was--it, it takes normal maybe three quarters of an hour, so we were driving back and forth, back and forth for hours and hours and hours, that we shouldn't know where we're going, you know, to confuse us. And there was a complete organized Jewish government over there. This was...

They purposely drove you around so...


...you wouldn't know where you were?

...so we, we didn't know where we are, yeah, for almost twenty-four hours or something like that.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn