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Vilna: The Importance of Industry and Work in the Vilna Ghetto

(June 1943)

...The most remarkable new development in the life of the ghetto is the growth of the ghetto industry.

Our industry was still on a very small scale last year and today it has become the main source of employment in the ghetto. About 3,000 persons now work in ghetto industries and efforts are being made to increase this number to 4,000 and even 5,000.

Both in the ghetto industries and in the work in small units we have been obliged to prove that, contrary to the accepted view that we will not succeed in any craft, we have in fact proved very efficient and they cannot find a replacement for us. Under the present war conditions the work in general and the work for the Wehrmacht in particular are absolutely the need of the hour.

It is a fact, the Head of the Ghetto said, among other things, that the clouds of recent days have begun to be scattered, and economic factors alone influence this issue. Because of this we are obliged, and in the future as well, not to drop away from the working plan. The number of persons working in the ghetto at present is 14,000, and we must take steps to reach 16,000 persons employed in the ghetto and outside it....

Source: R. Korczak, Lehavot ba-Efer ("Flames in Ash"), Merhavia, 19653, p. 355.

* A newspaper published in the Vilna Ghetto by Gens.


Source: Yad Vashem