- Holocaust Period The German army took the town during the first week of the war, during the High Holidays. Many Jews dressed in tallit and kittel were humiliated in the streets and photographed by German soldiers. The Torah Scrolls and other liturgical objects were taken from the local synagogues and burned while the congregation was forced to dance around the pyre. Jewish property was looted, goods in Jewish warehouses were confiscated, and the Jews were evicted from their homes and sent on forced labor. There was no formal ghetto, but a few streets were earmarked as the Jewish district. Numerous refugees from the smaller towns and villages were crowded into this small area. Frequent German raids took place in which able-bodied men were kidnapped and deported. The final liquidation of the Jewish community took place in August 1942 when close to 1,000 able-bodied Jews were sent to the lodz ghetto and 5,000 Jews were deported to the death camp in chelmno . No Jewish community was established in Belchatow after the war. (Danuta Dombrowska) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: I. Trunk, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 2 no. 1–4 (1949), 64–166; D. Dabrowska, in: BŻIH, no. 13–14 (1955); idem (ed.), Kronika getta łodzkiego, 2 vols. (1965–66), passim; Belkhatov Yisker Bukh (Yid., 1951). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Piotrkow Trybunalski veha-Sevivah (1965), 113–15, 192, 202.
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.
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