This sheet of postage stamps was printed by the Lodz ghetto Judenrat in Poland. Each of the twenty stamps includes the Star of David, a compass, scissors and a wheel. The profile of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, Head of the Lodz (Litzmannstadt) ghetto Judenrat, is printed on the left side.
Lodz Ghetto Postage Stamp Sheet
Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski: A Controversial Figure
Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski was appointed by the Nazis as Head of the Lodz ghetto Judenrat (the “Jewish Council”) in 1940. He was in charge of the ghetto administration and created his own currency, known as “Rumkies”. Rumkowski announced a design competition for the stamps in January 1942.
Rumkowski was a controversial figure because he encouraged residents of the ghetto to comply with Nazi’s orders, presumably hoping to prevent liquidation of the ghetto. He adopted the policy ‘’rescue through labour’’, believing that the productivity of the ghetto’s factories would prevent the deportation of the ghetto’s inhabitants. Nevertheless, when forced by the Nazis to organize the deportation of children and elderly people who couldn’t work, Rumkoswki asked the ghetto inhabitants to comply.
The Lodz ghetto was the last main ghetto in Poland to be liquidated between June and August 1944. Its remaining inhabitants, including Rumkowsky, were deported to killing centres in Poland. Chaim Rumkowski was killed in Auschwitz on August 28, 1944.
Joseph Zeliger donated this document to the Montreal Holocaust Museum in 1984.
This project is part of the implementation of the Plan culturel numérique du Québec.