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The Lodz Ghetto

A Dig Deeper Article by the Production Dramaturgy team for Indecent

In Indecent, the troupe continues to perform The God of Vengeance within the confined space of an attic in the Łódź (pronounced "Woodge") ghetto in Poland. These ghettos, coerced living spaces for Jewish communities, were a sinister tool in the Nazis' strategy to isolate and oppress. The Łódź ghetto, housing over 160,000 Jews in cramped conditions with an average of 3.5 people per room, encapsulated the severe poverty, forced labor, and widespread starvation that defined life within these enclosures. Stripped of the right to conduct business outside the ghetto, inhabitants became wholly dependent on the hostile German regime.

Similar fates befell other ghettos, including those in Krakow, Kovno, Minsk, and the Warsaw ghetto—the largest in Poland. Residents faced deportation to death camps or internment and labor camps, enduring the harrowing realities of starvation, rampant disease, and all too often, death. The German occupation of Lodz in September 1939 led to the establishment of the Łódź ghetto in early February 1940. The forced relocation of Jews to this designated area, sealed off on April 30, 1940, marked a bleak turning point. Winter in the ghettos exacerbated existing hardships, depleting already scant supplies of food and fuel. As survivor Leo Schneiderman chillingly observed,

"The whole ghetto was designed, actually, to starve the people out."

The Jews of Lodz move into the ghetto in March 1940. Original Source: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München Retrieved on: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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