Conditions within the ghetto

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Living conditions in the Lodz ghetto were extremely harsh. Very few people had access to running water, and there was no sewage system.

The German authorities controlled the supply of food. Anyone found trying to supplement their rations by smuggling was in danger of death. However, in order to stay alive, the inmates of the ghetto would often try to obtain extra food to support themselves and their family at any cost.

A report made by the Judenrat, written whilst carrying out an investigation into whether people were cheating in order to get more food rations than they were due, found 17 people sleeping in one room with just three small beds. Four people were sleeping in each bed, with the remainder having to find comfort on the floor.

Overcrowding led to diseases such as typhus, which spread very quickly throughout the ghetto.

Death was commonplace. Throughout the life of the ghetto more than 20 per cent of the population died due to hard labour, overcrowding, starvation and disease.