The Polish city of Lodz is 75 miles south west of Warsaw, and was an important industrial city prior to the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939. On the eve of war it was home to 223,000 Jews, one third of the city’s total population.
The persecution of these Jews began as soon as the Germans took Lodz on 6 September 1939.
By October the Germans had established a Judenrat (Jewish council) under the leadership of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski.
Between 15 and 17 November they organised the destruction of the city’s synagogues. From that time onwards Jews within the Lodz district had to wear an armband showing the Star of David.