“Przemysłowa Street in the city of Łódź, central Poland was the only Polish children’s concentration camp established by the Germans in occupied Poland. “Between 2,000-3,000 Polish children passed through here. They were beaten, tormented by dogs and made to carry out heavy labour,” explained Dariusz Rogut PhD, Director of the Institute of National Remembrance department in Łódź.
It was a true hell on earth during WWII. Footage from an Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) film shows that the children were so hungry they would nibble at their own hands. The kids were just numbers without names for their tormentors.
The camp lasted for 25 months and came under the control of the criminal police (KriPo) which was a part of the third Reich’s security system. The Łódź camp is a little-known aspect of the German camp system; a camp for children in the city.
“Around 200 children were killed, but we only know around 70 by name,” Artur Ossowski from the IPN remarked.
A monument to the Martyrology of the Children, otherwise known as the “Broken Heart Monument” marks their experience.However, a new institution will soon arise in Łodź.
“We are establishing a new institution, The Polish Children’s Museum, victims of totalitarianism and of the German Nazi concentration camp in Łodź 1942-1945,” explained Professor Piotr Gliński, the Culture, Sport and National Heritage Minister.
“We are making up for decades of neglect. The whole world knows about Auschwitz but not even Poles here know about ‘little Auschwitz’,” explained Jarosław Szarek, the Head of the Institute of National Remembrance. President Andrzej Duda supported the initiative.
“The truth about the shocking crimes committed in that place must be nurtured and passed on to the next generation,” Mikołaj Pawlak, the Children’s Ombudsman read the letter of the president.
A new film about a midwife in Auschwitz concentration camp premiered in Łódź on Monday. The movie portrays Stanisława Leszczyńska, who together with a fellow inmate called ‘Mama’ was involved in the birth of around 3,000 infants in Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.
“The remarkable thing was that she never had any complications, neither from the mother nor the child and this used to get Doctor [Josef] Mengele into a blind fury,” Maria Stachurska, the director of “The Midwife” remarked.