Letter on the Fate of the Łódź Ghetto

Text of a letter from Arthur Greiser, Gauleiter and Governor of the Wartheland, from February 14, 1944, in which he describes the fate of the Łódź ghetto.


Letter from Greiser, Gauleiter and Governor of the Wartheland, to Pohl, Concerning the Fate of the Lodz Ghetto, February 14, 19441

On the occasion of the visit of the RFSS [Reichsfuehrer SS] in Poznan yesterday and the day before I had an opportunity to discuss and clarify two questions which concern the area of your work.

The first question is as follows:

The ghetto in Lodz will not be converted into a concentration camp, as was emphasized at the discussion on February 5, held at my office, the Reich Governorate in Poznan, by SS Oberfuehrer Baier and SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Volk, who had been sent to my Gau (province) by your office.

The order of the RFSS of June 11, 1943, will therefore not be carried out. I have agreed the following with the RF:

1. The population of the ghetto is to be reduced to a minimum, and only those Jews are to remain who are absolutely required in the interests of the armaments industry;

2. The ghetto thus remains a Gau ghetto of the Reichsgau Wartheland;

3. The reduction of the population will be carried out by the Sonderkommando of SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Bothmann, which operated in the area previously. The RF will issue an Order instructing SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Bothmann and his Sonderkommando to leave their station in Croatia and be available for service in the Wartheland;2

4. The disposal and use of the property of the ghetto will remain the responsibility of the Reichsgau Wartheland;

5. After the removal of all the Jews from the ghetto and its demolition, the entire area of the ghetto will become the property of the city of Lodz. The RF will then give appropriate orders to the Central Trustees Office for the East (Haupt-Treuhandstelle Ost). May I request you to convey your proposals on this subject to me. Greiser3

Citations

  • 1 : A Gauleiter was the second highest ranking paramilitary rank.  They were a party leader of a regional branch of the Nazi party and could only be directly appointed by Adolf Hitler.
  • 2 : Bothmann and his unit set up and operated the extermination camp at Chelmno in the Wartheland. From: Documents on the Holocaust, Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland and the Soviet Union, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1981, Document no.162
  • 3 : “Letter from Greiser, Gauleiter and Governor of the Wartheland, to Pohl, Concerning the Fate of the Lodz Ghetto, February 14, 1944,” SHOAH Resource Center, accessed June 28, 2015.

Topic:
Holocaust
Place:
Poland

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