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September 21, 2018 10:26 am

Blood-Stained Tallit Fragment Found at Site of 1940 Lodz Ghetto Pogrom

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Tallit. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A fragment of a tallit has been discovered at the site of a former synagogue in the Lodz ghetto in Poland, stained with blood from a pogrom that took place on Yom Kippur in 1940.

According to Israel’s Channel Two, the foundation Shem L’Olam succeeded in bringing the tallit to Israel, where Rabbi Abraham Krieger, head of the foundation, said, “We are talking about a chilling and rare discovery. It bears witness to the Jewish life that existed in the ghetto and the unthinkable cruelty of the German murderers who had no mercy, and even on the holiest day for the Jews slaughtered, assaulted, and murdered in cold blood.”

In 1940, six months after the Jews of Lodz were confined to the ghetto, a makeshift synagogue was set up in a former movie theater. A large crowd gathered outside, but were beaten back by ghetto police. At the end of Yom Kippur prayers, the crowd swelled with Jews who had been unable to gain entrance to the synagogue. The violence intensified and Jews both inside and outside the synagogue were attacked by Nazi troops and ghetto police.

The tallit is not the first such discovery made at the site. During renovations, prayer books and holy objects were found beneath the floorboards.

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