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Jews from the Reich and the Protectorate

Autumn 1941 was one of the breakthrough moments in the history of Litzmannstadt Ghetto.  The group of almost 20 thousand Jews was deported to the closed-off district in occupied Łódź from the cities of the Third Reich and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. These people who lived in big European cities subjected to various types of harassment by the representatives and supporters of National Socialism were torn out of their world and sent to a place that for most of them was the last stop before the Holocaust.

The first persecutions were experienced by Jews living in the Reich long before the war broke out. The Nazi party program presented in Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf did not leave any doubts about how Jews would be treated. The murderous idea quickly turned into reality. Successive decrees and bills led to social isolation and economic ruin of Jews living in the Third Reich – up to the outbreak of the Second World war almost 1.5 thousand acts discriminating Jews were issued, including the so-called anti-semitic Nuremberg Laws in 1935. The terror culminated on the night of November 9 to November 10, 1938. During the pogrom called Kristallnacht hundreds of synagogues and private flats were devastated and set on fire, thousands of shops were demolished, many people were wounded, 91 were killed.

Pursuant to a decision of the German government a group of 20 thousand people living within the Reich, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and Luxembourg were deported in October and November to the ghetto in Litzmannstadt. The first group arrived at the Radegast station on 16 October 1941. until November 4, almost 20 thousand people were deported to the ghetto in 20 transports from Vienna, Prague, Luxembourg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Emden, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf.

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