A longed-for spring

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“Finally, a longed-for March has arrived. It’s warm outside, like a real spring. I’m asking myself, ‘What is this month going to bring us? Will there be more starvation? Will they be deporting people again? Will death prevail?’”

A young girl in the Lodz ghetto whose name has been lost to history wrote these words in her diary in March 1942.

Thanks to your efforts in keying registration books and worker ID cards from the Lodz ghetto for the World Memory Project, several thousand names of victims of Nazi persecution will be preserved forever—and made searchable online. The two Lodz ghetto collections that you recently indexed will be available on Ancestry.com later this spring.

The diary kept by this anonymous girl covers a three-week period from late February through mid-March 1942. The Nazis and their collaborators had begun deporting Jews from Lodz to the Chelmno killing center in January, and by September 1942, they had deported over 70,000 Jews and about 5,000 Roma. During the deportation operations, the Nazis shot and killed hundreds of Jews, including children, the elderly, and the sick.

The fate of the young diarist is unknown, but she is presumed to have been among those killed. Her diary was found in an abandoned apartment building in Lodz in July 1945.

You can learn more about the experiences of children in the Lodz ghetto in this United States Holocaust Memorial Museum online exhibition.