For Teachers and Students
The learning strategies presented here are intended to provide a scope and sequence for educators
to use when approaching the photography of Henryk Ross and the complexities of the Lodz Ghetto.
With your students, you will explore the history of the Lodz Ghetto, Ross's photography as an act of
resistance and the contemporary connections we can make between his work and the importance of photography,
art and social media today. The last category, contemporary Connections, engages students in thinking about the
tools we can use to document, take action and make positive changes in society.
Explore how the photographs of Henryk Ross represent the complexity of life in the Lodz Ghetto.
The complexity of life in the Lodz Ghetto can be seen through thousands of photographs taken by Henryk Ross that show the everyday existence of the ghetto’s Jewish population. This lesson encourages students to examine daily life in the ghetto. Most residents had no running water or sanitation and faced starvation and overcrowding. These images force us to confront issues of social class, leadership, gender, poverty, forced labour, destruction of religious institutions, starvation and death. How do Henryk Ross’s photographs represent the complexity of life in the Lodz Ghetto?
Explore how Henryk Ross's photographs of round-ups and deportations create a visual record of the process of genocide.
Under the leadership of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, chairman of the Jewish Council of the Lodz Ghetto, the ghetto was turned into a working ghetto. Rumkowski believed that if the ghetto provided goods for the Nazi war effort, its residents would be safe and deportations of Jews to killing centres could be averted. Nevertheless, Jews from the Lodz Ghetto were deported from Lodz via vans and cattle cars. to death camps in Chelmno nad Nerem and Auschwitz-Birkenau.
This lesson will explore Henryk Ross’s photographs of the round-ups and deportations of the Jews in the Lodz ghetto. Ross risked his life in order to take some of these images, hiding from the German police to document the sick, elderly, families and children being gathered together and sent away to be murdered. How do Ross’s photographs of the round-ups and deportations create a visual record of the process of genocide?
Consider how clandestine photography can be considered an act of resistance.
Get to know individuals working around the world to raise awareness about human rights violations and social justice issues. Students will consider how they can take action in their own communities.
What can I do to be an active, responsible and effective citizen in my community? Consider how you can take action in your own communities. This section will explore the contemporary connections we can make between Ross’s visual record and the roles of photography, art and social media can play as tools for social justice today. As we learn about the different ways people engage in social justice issues now, we ask you to think about what it means to be a witness. What responsibilities do we have to take action as both creators and receivers of information about social injustices? How can we act based on the information we receive? Use the answers to these questions to explore how action in your own communities could help spark positive change.