History as seen through postcards: A story of the Lodz Ghetto — total isolation

Nitza Davidovitch, Shlomit Ben Ishay, Ruth Dorot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thesis. This study explores the role of postcards as a historical, documentary, and artistic source depicting the events of the Holocaust, focusing on postcards written or received by inhabitants of the Lodz Ghetto. 78 postcards were translated into Hebrew and on exhibition at the Holocaust and Heroism Memorial Museum in Israel. Research indicates that the postcards served as an authentic and rare source of information as well as understanding the emotions of Jews whose lives were overshadowed by the threat of annihilation. Methods. The study is a qualitative one, based on the grounded theory approach. Analysis is established on identifying and characterising recurrences in the raw material of findings, with a clear definition of the unit of analysis, to build a hierarchy of the recurrences and themes, and to construct a theoretical model that explains the reality under investigation. Researchers in this method gather information about the life patterns of their subjects as well as the organizational and social structures. Grounded theory assumes that all people who have shared life circumstances also have shared social and psychological patterns, which even if not consciously formulated or expressed grow from the shared experiences. Results. The prohibition of all postal ties was a strenuous burden on the ghetto’s inhabitants and increased their anxiety for the fate of their relatives and acquaintances outside the ghetto, also leading to its absolute separation from the outer world. Only in 1944 did the Germans once again allow postal connections with the ghetto. Conclusion. In-depth analysis reveals the historical events from the perspective of the postcard writers, as they experienced them in the ghetto. The postcards sent to the ghetto by relatives and acquaintances reveal their writers’ hopes of reuniting with their family or their extreme despair as they cope with the loss of their family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-338
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Education Culture and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2022


  • documents
  • postcards
  • communication
  • chronicle
  • Lodz Ghetto
  • Holocaust
  • educational system


Dive into the research topics of 'History as seen through postcards: A story of the Lodz Ghetto — total isolation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this