Mercury House

Rumkowski and the Orphans of Lodz

Lucille Eichengreen
with Rebecca Fromer

Jewish studies / memoir
$16.95, 144 pages, 20 photos
ISBN 978-1562791155

Chaim Rumkowski, the Nazi-appointed head of the Jewish Council in the Lodz Ghetto, had absolute authority over selections and deportations. He also used his power to molest children in the Lodz orphanage and outside. This quiet, devastating memoir by a Holocaust survivor documents her own abuse by Rumkowski and the accounts she heard from many others who suffered at his hands.

“Lucille Eichengreen tells the true story of Chaim Rumkowski, the principal person in charge of the Lodz Ghetto, where the author was sent with her mother and sister. Her mother died in the ghetto, and her sister was sent to a concentration camp. She thus remained alone, orphaned, under the command of Rumkowski, who, taking advantage of his power, abused the orphans of Lodz, including Lucille. A beautiful testimony, simply written.”
—Bulletin Trimestriel da la Fondation, Auschwitz

Lucille Eichengreen was born Cecilia Landau in Hamburg, Germany, in 1925. A survivor of the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz, Neuengamme, and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, she came to New York in 1946. Now retired and living in Berkeley, California, she writes and speaks on the Holocaust at schools and universities.

Rebecca Fromer (1927-2012) was a teacher, poet, and playright, and cofounder of the Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum in Berkeley, California. She wrote, or co-wrote, numerous nonfiction books, including The Holocaust Odyssey of Daniel Bennahmias, Sonderkommando, Rumkowski and the Orphans of Lodz, and Bridge of Sorrow, Bridge of Hope. Her poetry and prose were collected in Out of Silence, Into Being and One Voice, Many Echos.