The city of Lodz was home to the second-largest Jewish community in prewar Poland. Occupied by the Germany on September 8, 1939, Lodz was annexed to the Third Reich as part of the Warthegau region and renamed Litzmannstadt after a German World War I general.

The Lodz ghetto was sealed in early 1940. Its approximately 160,000 Jewish inhabitants performed forced labor in factories and workshops established within the ghetto. In 1942, around 70,000 inhabitants of the Lodz ghetto were deported to the Chelmno killing center, where they were murdered in specially-equipped mobile gassing vans. The Lodz ghetto was the last ghetto in German-occupied Poland to be liquidated. The remaining c. 75,000 inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in August 1944.