The Role of the Ghetto Litzmannstadt (Łódź) for the Clothing Provision of the German Armed Forces and Private Firms (1940 to 1944)
Shortly after the establishment of the Ghetto in Łódź, the German administration set up a textile and clothing department. As Łódź was the leading Polish textile center, many ghetto inhabitants had basic or advanced skills in the textile and clothing business. After several months it became clear for the Jews that working for the Germans was the only chance to making themselves valuable and to avoid or postpone being deported to extermination camps. The textile and clothing department soon became the largest sweatshop in the ghetto and was also an important provider of textiles, clothing and leather goods for the German economy. Previous research followed the claim of the department's head that the German military took over 90 per cent of its production. We show for the large textile and clothing department that the share of production for civilian purposes was much higher, around 50 per cent. Moreover, we analyze the business relationship between the ghetto administration and German firms.
© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston