A collection of photographs from the Lodz Ghetto photographed by ghetto photographer Mendel Grossman and his assistant Aryeh Ben Menachem.
Belongs to collection:
Yad Vashem Photo Archive
Mendel Grosman, 27.06.1913-04.1945, son of Chaia Ruchel and Szmul Dawid was a professional photographer. He utilized his status as an official ghetto photographer to take additional personal pictures as well. Grosman was deported to Lodz ghetto, where his father perished. He worked in the statistics department, where he was employed as an official photographer in the ghetto. A short time prior the liquidation of the ghetto, he hid approximately 10,000 negatives of photographs he took in the ghetto. These negatives arrived in Eretz Israel but disappeared during the War of Independence in 1948. Hundreds of positives hidden by his friend Nachman Zonabend survived.
Mendel Grosman perished during a death march, a short time before liberation.
Arie Princ, 12.04.1922-19.06.2006, son of Menachem and Hinda Princ was a member of “Front of the Wilderness Generation” movement, and one of the writers and editors of the periodical “Voice from the Front”. Later, Arie changed his last name to “Ben Menachem”, in memory of his father, who perished. He met his future wife Ewa Bialer in the ghetto. In the ghetto, Arie was a night clerk at a shoemaking workshop, and later worked in a straw-shoemaking workshop. He was also the assistant of Mendel Grosman and took some of the photograph in the collection himself. After World War II he arrived in Eretz Israel and fell into Egyptian captivity while defending his Kibbutz, Nizanim during the War of Independence.
Among the photographs in this collection are a number of collages, which were part of an underground album that was produced in the ghetto by people connected with the statistics department. The album included 18 collages, based on photographs taken by Grosman, many of which also appear in the official albums. Princ received an album of blue cards, manufactured in the paper department, from Zew Bialer. He made collages and added inscriptions in Yiddish and Polish.
Ben Menachem took the album with him on the train to
Ben Menachem searched for the album for years after the war. Copies of album pages appeared in publications. He found out that the “Canada Commando” had smuggled the album outside of the camp. With the passage of time, Ben Menachem managed to get hold of photographed copies of all album pages, but we have no information as to whether the album itself survived. The full copy of the album is kept at the Association of Lodz Jews in Israel.
(for collages or parts of them – see items 4062/297; 4062/409; 4062/407; 4062/451; 4062/455; 1602/20; 3331/37; 3331/34)