RG-01.11, DAWID GERTLER PAPERS

Descriptive Summary: This collection comprises documents relating to the pre-trial hearings conducted by the Jewish Court of Honor established by The Central Committee of Liberated Jews in the US Zone of Occupation in Germany. These materials comprise various correspondences between Dawid Gertler and his defense attorney Estera Epstein. They include Dawid Gertler’s wartime testimony. His narrative stands out in terms of unprecedented and overall unknown factness of collaboration between himself and some other high-ranking members of the Jewish administration in Lodz ghetto with the officials of various Nazi-German agencies.  There are also other notes made in relation to the proceedings.

Creators: Dawid Gertler and Estera Epstein 

Indexing Terms:

Subject – Topics: Lodz Ghetto; Sonderarbeiteilung, Special Unit of the Jewish police; Central Committee of Liberated Jews; Jewish Court of Honor (Munich, Germany); American occupation zone; Judenraete, Jewish Councils;

boration with German administration

Subject – Places: Lodz (Poland); Lodz (Poland: Ghetto), Warsaw, Warsaw (Poland: Ghetto), Auschwitz complex of camps

Subject – Personal Names: Gertler, Dawid; Epstein, Estera; Piekacz, Pejsach; Pacanowski, Szaja; Kasz, Guta; Kenigstein, Cesia; Beckman, Gustawa; Goldsztajn, Moische; Kazs, Sarah; Moszenberg, Adler

Historical/Content Notes: Dawid Gertler was the head of the Lodz Ghetto’s Sonderarbeiteilung¸ that is the Special Unit of the Jewish police. He was regarded as a popular figure in the ghetto. It is believed that he and Chaim Rumkowski, the Chairman of the Jewish Council were rivals.  In 1943, Dawid Gertler was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. He survived the war. After the war, a group of Jews from Lodz living in Germany raised the awareness of the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in Germany of his collaboration with the German administration and accused him of corruption. The Legal Department of the Central Committee of the Liberated Jews in Germany initiated a legal proceeding against Dawid Gertler.

Scope/Content Notes: These documents stem from the litigation and proceedings concerning the case of Dawid Gertler, one of the former high-ranking Judenrät officials of the Lodz ghetto.  The Jewish Court of Honor in Munich tried this case. The documents represent a pre-trial proceeding related to his administrative functions at the Lodz Ghetto Jewish police and collaboration with the German administration. A number of the documents relate to the technicalities of the case, for example, including Gertler’s willingness to cover the costs of air-flights for the witnesses in his favor, and correspondence setting the dates for the hearings.

Organization: hand- and typewritten documents in Yiddish, Polish, German and English. Estera Epstein, attorney for the defense penned the primary corpus of these documents. This record group includes digitized materials.

Language: The documents of this collection written in several languages reflect on the course of the pre-trial proceedings. The primary language is Yiddish.