JEWISH LODZ TOUR
The former Jewish Łódz, as written somewhere among the verses of its famous writers, poets, and ordinary pre-war journalists, at first sight, seems to be lost, but something so intriguing and magnetising comes across its streets and tenements. Is it an awareness of a bright past? A place where the Jewish industrialists built multileveled textile plants, set up commerce banks and trade companies, while other less wealthy inhabitants were running around in the course of an ordinary day, trying somehow to maintain their families. There, spinning, weaving, and dyeing machines worked full blast. Łódz – Polish Manchester, was a city full of paradoxes.
It was this place where three nationalities, Poles – Germans – Jews, despite their cultural differences, weren’t susceptible to radicalization. This city developed its industrial potential during the partition of Poland, by cooperating with the tsar of Russia. It was in Łódz that, until 1862, Jewish inhabitants couldn’t freely choice their place of residence, simultaneously being confined to the neglected Bałuty district.
Duration – 9 hours
Distance from Warsaw: 136 km
I deal with individual customers as well as organized groups. I work for: traveling organizations, foundations, universities, corporations, embassies, business customers, private customers.
Each customer is served individually and the program is customized to particular needs.
I take you on trips in luxurious cars, mini vans, buses.
Up to 5 persons – 240 $
6 – 8 person – 270 $
DO YOU KNOW?
Within two centuries, the Jewish community increased 21 thousand times, from eleven people in 1793 to 230,000 at the outbreak of WWII, becoming the second largest – after Warsaw – Jewish community in the interwar Second Republic, an amazing achievement. How was this phenomenon possible?
CEMETERY AT BRACKA STREET:
We begin our sightseeing from the cemetery situated at Bracka Street which, nowadays, is the largest Jewish necropolis in Poland. In contrast to the also well-known cemetery at Okopowa Street in the capital of the country, this one looks slightly different and the breath-taking mausoleums of Jewish industrialists testify to the wealthy history of the city.
Nevertheless, this is a unique place, transferring us into a past epoch of Jewish presence in Łódz with the graves of well-known rabbis, fabricants, physicians, politicians, social activists, and those so ordinary people are scattered around.As you stroll through the large space of the so-called Ghetto Field, where some 43 thousand victims from the heartbreaking period of occupation were buried, instinctively you may feel the scale of destruction. This huge empty field, as big as several football stadiums, symbolises by its silence the eternal cry and unimaginable scale of what was lost.
After this, we stroll among the famous district named Bałuty. I provide you with the entire panorama of Jewish presence in the city and a series of information to highlight – first and foremost – the amazing XIX century transformation of the Jewish community. They promoted its activation, from just a few families, to become the most vital and vibrant factor which stimulated constant growth of this city’s industry and commerce.
Izrael Poznański palace – now a Museum of the city of Łódz and a historical piece of manufacturing, which has recently been revitalised to bear witness to the dynamic past. However, neglected and destroyed buildings of physical workers still show us the other side of the coin. In fact, the Jewish community in Łódz was intellectually stratified as well as materially diversified. The only synagogue, hidden in the corridors of the yard, survived the war, others were burned and tore down by invaders.
After this, we go through over a dozen tenement and places strictly affiliated with the occupation, remembering the Litzmannstadt ghetto was the second largest after the Warsaw ghetto across all occupied Europe.
The story of the ghetto period unveils the atrocities, intimidation, and expropriations perpetrated by the III Reich.
Conditions for inmates, institutions and administrative bodies designated by Germans for controlling this closed area, Nazi terror apparatus, hospitals, workshops, former footbridges, Gestapo cellars – the streets of Łódz reflect it precisely, in a very specific way.
The last place, as it was for those thousands of people, is Radegast memorial – the collection point from which freight cars departed in the direction of the death camps.