Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Felicia Shloss - February 9, 1983

Life in the Ghetto

Now once you were in the ghetto in Łódź uh, there was a Jewish police. Was there a Judenrat too?


Jewish council?

Yes. It was Judenälteste to Rumkowski. He wasn't a very nice guy. He only think-- thought of himself and um, he was pleasing the Germans. And we didn't have any food or any uh, heat. And Poland--Łódź was a northern country. It was so terrible in the winter times. To live through a day--it's impossible to describe you, the--no food, and no, no food and no heat in a northern country. For two years I--we didn't get anything and then, when uh, we had a little jewelry I used to go on the border street. They had little stores--I guess, they must have given that to the Germans or something--diamonds and gold for food that we could have buy a little something. And I came home and I cooked. I was the mother of the house. I cooked but uh, I guess, my brother, the younger brother couldn't survive. There wasn't any food in the house, it was no food, no medicine, nothing to help him and he died.

He died of starvation? Combinations?

A combination. Starvation and he was, he was beaten up once by the Germans. And he...

When your brother died, what did you and your other brother and sister do then?

We cried. We cried and we [heavy sigh] it was so terrible. I--I can't explain the life there. It's, it's, it's hard to imagine. Every day, every day you don't know what's going to be next day. There were--you couldn't walk in the street. You couldn't uh, because one minute they could shot--they were shotting and soldiers were walking in the streets--if they saw some people walking, they were shooting. We had a man, he was called uh, in Jewish they called him ??? he had red hair. He just uh, drank himself up and went to the ghetto and he were shooting at people. And uh, the doctors used to wear a red cross with a yellow band. They were shooting at, at the doctor--anybody, anybody who was alive or moved they were shooting at.

Did you, did you wear--also wear a band?

We were wearing a David star. On, on the front and on the back.

When your brother died, was there a service for him? Was there...

No. They just...

He was buried.

He was buried. They just, they just took him away. We--you can't imagine--again I have to tell you the life there. I don't know where--you have to tell my older brother probably did that because we were so crying, we were so uh, we, we, we didn't know what we were doing, we were ourselves kids and things like this happen, so we--I can't--I guess my--there were 200 deaths a day at that time. People were dying from hunger and colds.


No--diseases mattered. No medicine. Nothing. There were 200 deaths a day, so you can't imagine. You were like numb. I'm numb now. I, I--when I talk about it. It's un...it's unbelievable.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn