move to the Lodz ghetto
Shortly after the invasion of Poland in 1939, the 230,000 Jews of Lodz were ordered into the poorest area of the city, the newly established ghetto. By May 1, 1940, the ghetto was officially sealed off. Joe and his family packed their belongings to make the move. At that time, the Germans still allowed Jews to bring anything they could carry into the ghetto. Joe’s mother had one prized possession, the stove that her husband had recently purchased.
They packed up the large ceramic stove for the move, only to find that the Polish caretaker of their building demanded that they leave the stove for him. Outraged by this theft, Joe’s older sister marched over to the police station to report the incident. Unbelievably, a German police officer returned with her and demanded that the Pole return the property to the Jews.
Today Joe encourages everyone to enjoy every day because you never know what is going to happen.