The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Deportation of Aged & Infirm Jews to Lodz

"In the autumn of 1941 the Germans decided to make use of the Lodz ghetto for the old and sick, and other 'unwanted' Jews, from the cities of western Europe. Suddenly, with ruthless efficiency, railway timetables were prepared and trains made ready: and from Berlin and Prague, from Luxembourg, from Frankfurt and Vienna, more than 20,000 Jews were forced out of their homes, taken to the railway stations and deported to the east.

"Even before their deportation, the Jews of these towns had been harried and restricted. In Frankfurt, a city whose Jewish community dated back a thousand years, they had been obliged, during 1941, to wear a yellow Star of David on their coats, with the word "JEW" in the centre. One witness of their plight was a United States citizen, Edwin Van D'Elden, secretary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Frankfurt, who had remained in the city until being deported in May 1942. [He describes persecution of the Jews of Frankfurt] At the same time, Jews had been forced to leave their homes in the city and move into buildings occupied entirely by Jews: most of the uprooted families were allowed only one room. No taxi or tram was allowed to take a Jewish passenger and railway travel out of Frankfurt was strictly forbidden." (Gilbert, 81)

Work Cited

Gilbert, Martin. Final Journey: The Fate of the Jews in Nazi Germany. New York: Mayflower Books, 1979

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