Kutno Ghetto Residents Project

Inhabitants list as of July 29, 1941

Prior to World War II, approximately 6700 Jews lived in Kutno (Lodz district), constituting more than 25% of the total city population.  The Germans entered Kutno on September 15, 1939 and during the first months of the occupation the synagogue was destroyed, and many Jews were taken for forced labor.  A Judenrat was apparently appointed as early as November 1939, but the ghetto was only established officially in June 1940.  Before that, the Jewish population increased considerably due to the constant influx of Jewish refugees from peripheral areas.

With the ghetto’s establishment, all the Jews were transferred to the grounds of the “Konstancja” sugar factory. (The Germans nicknamed it Krepierlager (“Pegging out Camp”). The eviction was photographed by Franz Hansen, a Wehrmacht soldier posted there.  More than 7000 Jews were crammed into the grounds of the factory, several buildings of which had been bombed, forcing many of the new tenants to make outdoor living arrangements.  The Germans surrounded the area with barbed wire and watchtowers.  Thanks to efficient organization, black market business and smuggling, the ghetto prisoners managed to preserve a semblance of normality, apart from the terrible living conditions.  However, from time to time epidemics broke out, and food was sometimes scarce.

The ghetto was liquidated at the end of March/beginning of April 1942, with the deportation of all its inhabitants to the Chelmno extermination camp.

In July 1941, the Germans conducted a census of the Ghetto, the original of which is now in the Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw. There were almost 6600 individuals with more than 1000 family names in this “List of Inhabitants.” While the majority were residents of Kutno, approximately 1300 were originally from more than 100 other towns in the area.

The original census is available at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. All information from the census is included in the online database. For copies of entries of interest, contact the Family Heritage Project at The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute at [email protected].

Jewish Records Indexing – Poland extends its appreciation to the Jewish Historical Institute for sharing these record entries.

Click here for a list of family names and towns appearing in the Kutno Ghetto Inhabitants database.

Surviving records less than 100 years old are held in the Civil Records Offices (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego) of each town.

For information on the 20th century records available for your town, visit the Routes to Roots Foundation website, click on the ‘SEARCH DATABASE’ button (on the right side) and enter the town name. Look for the town name in the Repository/City column of the search results. There are typically links to lists of available births, marriage and death records for the town.

Note, however, the Routes to Roots Foundation database may indicate turn of the century records that have already been transferred to the appropriate branch of the Polish State Archives where they can be indexed for the JRI-Poland database.