Confined to the Ghetto 1940-1944

I was there.

Halina worked in the ghetto in the Control Office (4 Kościelny Square) and the Labor Office. After marriage (1942), together with her husband Pinkus Inzelsztajn she moved to 10 Jakuba St.

Halina Elczewska (1919-2013), Poland

Halina Elczewska (1919-2013), Poland

Consider here the time Halina and her family spent in the ghetto.

Rumkowski’s Policy

Halina and her relatives work in the so-called resorts that are part of Chaim Rumkowski's (the chairman of the Jewish council) policy aimed at proving to Germans that the Lodz ghetto is useful for them.

1) Listen to Halina, as she describes Chaim’s Rumkowski policy of being useful for Germans. Answer the questions.

  • 1a. What were the resorts?

  • 1b. How many of them were in the ghetto?

  • 1c. What were they producing?

  • 1d. Why people wanted to get job in resorts?

Good People in the Ghetto

Halina receives help from a person whom she did not know before; he risks a lot.

2) Listen to Halina, as she describes her encounter with Rafał Warakomski. Answer the questions.

  • 2a. Where did Halina and her family work?

  • 2b. What was Halina’s job in the resort?

  • 2c. Who was Rafał Warakomski? How did he help Halina’s family?

  • 2d. What was Mr. Warakomski risking to help Halina?

  • 2e. Why did Halina need to express her gratitude to Mr. Warakomski?

  • 2f. What did Halina do to express her gratitude?

Everyday Death

Everyday Halina sees death on the streets of the Lodz.

3) Listen to Halina’s description of everyday struggle for life in the ghetto. Answer the questions.

  • 3a. Why people in the ghetto would not inform the authorities about the death of their relatives?

  • 3b. How did Halina call the time of the ghetto existence?

To Hold on to One’s Humanity

Halina does everything to forget about the daily life in the ghetto.

4) Listen to Halina, as she talks about reading poetry in the ghetto. Answer the questions.

  • 4a. What does the poetry mean to you?

  • 4b. What did poetry mean for Halina when she lived in the ghetto?

  • 4c. What does the music mean to you? What kind of music is your favourite?

  • 4d. What music did Halina listen in the ghetto?

  • 4e. What did music give Halina when she lived in the ghetto?

  • 4f. Do you think that listening to the music or reading poetry was a form of resistance in the ghetto? Justify your answer.

Deportation to Auschwitz

Halina and her family is being deported from the ghetto.

5) Listen to Halina, as she describes her family’s reaction to the news about the deportation from the ghetto. Answer the questions.

  • 5a. How did people in the ghetto understand the term ‘deportations’?

  • 5b. What were really the deportations?

  • 5c. How did Halina’s family learn where they were deported to?

  • 5d. Why would people leave the messages in the wagons?

  • 5e. How do you understand Halina’s words, that ‘those notes (…) placed us on the other side of life’?

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Life Changes 1939-1940

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