Letters sent by children imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp, coming from the Litzmannstadt ghetto, were discovered by researchers at the Polish Museum of Children – Victims of Totalitarianism.
The letters provide a shocking picture of the suffering of children in the ghetto, which was located in the then German-occupied city of Lodz.
“A few days ago, while browsing private collections, we discovered eight original letters sent to the Litzmannstadt Nazi camp,” said Ireneusz May, director of the Museum of the Polish Children – Victims of Totalitarianism.
“They were written by Polish children in 1944 and addressed to their loved ones,” said museum researchers.
“It is a unique discovery because there are only a dozen such letters from this camp,” he said, adding that they were written by the youngest prisoners of the Third Reich.
The documents are currently being reviewed and are being saved and restored.
In excerpts from the partially damaged letters of imprisoned children to their parents, who were also often in German concentration camps, we find phrases such as “I want soap and a spoon because I have nothing to eat” or “mother “Make me 20 pancakes.”
“These letters are for us a special and intimate form of contact with the experiences of these children, truly tragic experiences,” noted historian Andrzej Janicki.
The exhibition of letters and other documents from the camp will come to light in December this year, at the Lodz Cultural Center.
The camp, established in mid-1942, was the site where German Nazi occupiers arrested Jews before being transported to extermination camps.
In the children’s camp, the prisoners ranged in age from a few months to 16 years.
Some of them were sent to camp for crimes such as petty theft and begging.
Children were held in primitive conditions, used as slaves, and also beaten, tortured, and starved to death.
Various data show that about 3,000-4,000 children were imprisoned there and several hundred died.
When the German Nazi occupation of Lodz ended, there were over 800 juvenile prisoners in the camp.
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