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The Lódz Ghetto: Address by Rumkowski to the Officials of the Judenrat in Lodz

(February 1, 1941)

Bulletin No. 22

...Most of the propertied class left before the ghetto was closed. Those who remained were: the middle class, the poor, and the workers, who are to a large extent the element known as "the people from Baluti."* This element in particular causes great difficulties for the Community authorities, because it is i'll-disciplined and tends to create chaos in the life of the ghetto. It forms a majority percentage of the criminal population in the ghetto.

I have made it my aim to regulate life in the ghetto at all costs. This aim can be achieved, first of all, by employment for all. Therefore, my main slogan has been to give work to the greatest possible number of people. It was not a simple matter to set up the workshops. Great difficulty was caused by the fact that there were scarcely any Jewish factories within the area of the ghetto. Despite that I succeeded in establishing a series of work-places, factories, carpentry workshops, a leather tannery, tailoring workshops, shoe-making workshops, establishments for the production of the most varied goods... My workshops are now already employing up to 10,000 workers. About 1,000 unskilled laborers are employed on public projects. About 1,600 persons have already been sent to work outside the ghetto; they use part of their wages to support the families who have remained here and whom I pay a regular wage....

* Baluti – a poor quarter of Lodz inhabited mainly by Jews. It was included in the area of the ghetto.

Sources: D. Dabrowska and L. Dobroszycki, eds., Kronika getta lodzkiego ("Lodz Ghetto Chronicle"), I, Lodz, 1965, p. 48. ; Yad Vashem