The Polish city of Lodz was occupied by German forces in 1939. The Nazis brought the area’s Jewish population, over 160,000 people, into a poor industrial section of the city and sealed it off from the outside world, making the Lodz Ghetto second in Jewish population only to the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Europe.
Photographer Henryk Ross (1910-1991) was among those confined to the ghetto in 1940, and he was put to work by the Nazi regime in their Jewish Administration’s statistics department.
Ross took official photographs for Jewish identification cards, as well as images for propaganda that promoted the ghetto’s efficiency. At great personal risk, Ross also documented the brutal realities of life under Nazi rule, culminating in the deportation of thousands to death camps at Chelmno and Auschwitz.
Hoping to preserve a historical record, Ross buried his negatives in 1944. He returned for them after Lodz’s liberation, discovering that more than half of the original 6,000 had survived.
From March 25 to July 30, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts presents “Memory Unearthed,” showcasing more than 200 of Ross’ powerful photographs, which together create a moving, intimate visual record of the Holocaust.
The images are accompanied by artifacts, including Ross’ own identity card, and ghetto notices. An album of contact prints, handcrafted by Ross and shown in its entirety as the centerpiece of the exhibit, serves as a summation of his memories, capturing his personal narrative.
The Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center, in Providence, and Stop Iran Now invite you to view this extraordinary rare glimpse of life inside the Lodz Ghetto on Sunday, June 4. A group will depart from the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, at 9:30 a.m. and return at 3:30 p.m. The cost of the day trip is $42, which includes transportation and museum admission. Reservations must be made by May 21.
For more information, contact May-Ronny Zeidman, executive director, at 401-453-7860, or Esta Barcohana at 401-714-7193.
LEV POPLOW is a communications and development consultant writing on behalf of the Bornstein Holocaust Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.