The Instigator
zach12
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
rangersfootballclub
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Rumkowski did everything he could to help the suffering Jews in Lodz Ghetto

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
zach12
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/17/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,311 times Debate No: 6958
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

zach12

Pro

I stand in affirmation.

First I will start with definitions

Lodz Ghetto- The Jew "Ghetto" Which existed from 1939 until 1944 during WWII

Jew- a person whose religion is Judaism. (dictionary.com)

Rumkowski- Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, the Alteste (Elder of the Jews) of the inhabitants of the Lodz Ghetto.

With that out of the way, i'm going to state a couple of reasons why I believe he did help the poor Jews in the ghetto.

1. He allegedly cut down the first deportations of Jews and Gypsies to the concentration camp (Chelmna) in half.

2. He made the ghetto valuable to the Nazis by making factories which supplied the Germans with everything from munitions to textiles. Therefore, the Nazis were more reluctant to kill all the Jews in the ghetto.

3. He preserved the ghetto and it was the longest lasting ghetto of the war.

4. Around 800 people eventually survived the ordeal, the largest of any ghetto.

I hope someone decided to debate this with me.
rangersfootballclub

Con

i would like to thank my oppenent for posting and interesting debate.

i will be honest i took up this challnage for the hope that i may learn something more and that i thought it would be a real challange for me considering i knew very little about Rumkowski and have been studying him intensly for almost an hour prior to me posting this debate , i would also like to congradulate my oppent on his knowledge and interest in learning about the jewish people in germany .

i belive Rumkowski was somewhat of a brave man taking on the role of being the " eldar of the jews " but i belive he could have done more , he told lies to the jewish people about where they were going and often choose children to be killed rather than adults or elderly which i think was the wrong choice , theres no questions he saved possibly thousands of lives but i think that that he could have done more , i think he could have helped the jewwish familys " disappear" before the nazis came looking for them he couldhave gave the community a heads up if you will about what the nazis are really doing . Though there was not much he could have done and he did what he could i think he was rather selfish , this may sound stupid but i think he was more interested in his own life rather than the lifes of the jewish people themselves he used the jewish community as bargain chips for his own life i belive.

i woould like to apologise for my poor spelling and grammer but i had to write this in a hurray so please excuse me !
Debate Round No. 1
zach12

Pro

Thanks for accepting this debate rangersfootballclub, I wasn't sure anyone would, as it is an obscure subject. However I thought someone would probably do some frantic research and I was right. Thanks for the compliment; I just have an acute interest in everything WWII, especially the Holocaust.

Now to the actual debate…

My opponent's first claim… "he {Rumkowski} told lies to the Jewish people about where they were going and often choose children to be killed rather than adults or elderly which I think was the wrong choice"

First I will address the issue of sending children to the Death Camp rather than adults or the elderly. This is simply not true. Rumkowski was ordered by Nazi officials to deport 20,000 people from the ghetto. He managed to talk them down to 10,000. Then, he made a list of those to be deported. The people on the list were either gypsies, (there were approximately 5,000 gypsies, or Roma, relocated to the ghetto in October 1941), people who were deemed criminals, and the family members of said criminals. The only children on the list were children of these "criminals." Therefore we can see that children were not specifically targeted.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org...

Rumkowski had to maintain adult workers in the ghetto because the productivity of the ghetto was the only thing that kept the ghetto alive. Nazi shipments of food only came because of the goods produced for the Reich in Lodz ghetto. If Rumkowski deported relatively healthy men first, the others would die very rapidly from starvation. Therefore, Rumkowski was forced to export non-workers, such as criminals, beggars, the elderly, and eventually, children (but only because he was forced to by the Nazis.)

My opponent's second claim… "i think he could have helped the jewwish familys " disappear" before the nazis came looking for them"

This was impossible. The Nazis broke and entered a random block every night. Besides, where would they go? The ghetto was less than 4 square miles. Even if the Rumkowski knew which block of apartments was going to be targeted next, and miraculously found hiding places for them, the Nazis would simply target a different block.

My opponent's third claim… "he couldhave gave the community a heads up if you will about what the nazis are really doing"

If Rumkowski told the Jews what was really happening, there would have been mass panic. This would have ended the ghetto's value to the Germans and the ghetto would have been quickly liquidated, killing nearly everyone in a very short period of time.

My opponent's fourth claim… "he used the jewish community as bargain chips for his own life i belive."

He used the Jewish community as a bargaining chip for all their lives. Like I have said, the only thing keeping them alive was their productivity. And in the end Rumkowski was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau just like any other Jew.

Thanks for reading, vote pro.
rangersfootballclub

Con

like i said i have to admit there is not much of an arguement i can put up as the man undoubtly saved lifes , but the question reamins could he have done more ? now not knowing much about this subject i have to pressume what i have read about it on several other sites have to be correct otherwise i have no arguement.

now i would like to help my oppent understand what i meant by several off my points incase he didnt understand it to well because i was not being clear enough.
i belive that y when i said helping them to escape i mean really escaping not hiding in germany , im not sure how but he could have attempted large scale escapes out of the country . im not sure how but surley there must have been a way of getting jews out the country on a large scale disgusing it as something else. but like you said how he needed the camp to remian productive i think this is why he never helped the jewish people escape he might have fought that the more people he has to deport the longer it will be till his death and hopefully before then the war will be over.
I am in no ways discrediting this man , undoubtly he saved lifes but really could he have done more ?
i read that it is estimated he was responsible for the saving off between 800-3000 lifes now he could have alreted other forms of leaders in the community to what the nazis were doing and could have made sure nobody panicked somehow by only telling small groups at a time and getting familys and others to escape before the killing really started or even if he managed to fill only several trains full off people which could have totaled maybe upto 10,000 people he would have saved more lifes and he could continue doing this untill caught or attempt to have a scape goat one who of course would have already been killed in these concentration camps or maybe even try hint it was a corrupt german army officer . im not sure if this would work but there was a chance it could .
in cocnlusion as i said i am in no postion to be making these alligations but i think he could have sacrifcied himself a lot earlier and helped people escape.
Debate Round No. 2
zach12

Pro

Once again I would like to thank my opponent for his post and for clarifying his points.
My opponent poses the question of "could Rumkowski have helped the Jewish families escape occupied Europe entirely?" (I think this is more or less what he is asking)
This was impossible. Lodz Ghetto was guarded much more closely by Nazi guards than any other Ghetto in World War Two. Unlike the other ghettos, no underground black market of smuggled goods graced Lodz. During its whole use, not one soul escaped the Ghetto until the very last week of its existence. Even if Rumkowski managed to get some Jews outside the barbed wire fencing, there was nowhere to go. The land was literally teeming with Nazis. Any group larger than a handful was bound to be discovered. Singular Jews traveling alone would have a minute chance of escape, and as groups get larger the chance of escape quickly evaporates.
Then my opponents suggests getting only a couple of trains full of people out of occupied Europe. This, again, was impossible. Not only did Rumkowski lack access to trains, they are also very noticeable. One thing about telling people dangerous information is that it will inevitably spread. If Rumkowski told "small groups" as you say, the information would rapidly spread throughout the ghetto, debasing any reason to tell small groups and not just the entire ghetto.

To recap…
Reasons Rumkowski helped the Jews in the ghetto…
1.)He made the people of the ghetto valuable to the Nazis, thus preserving their lives.
2.)He worked with the Germans to reduce Jewish deportations
3.)He managed to procure and distribute food, if a small amount, to every citizen of the ghetto.
4.)Avoided deporting healthy Jews, preserving the ghetto as a whole.
5.)Had Gypsies deported first (this debate was only as to if he help JEWS not gypsies)
rangersfootballclub

Con

yet again with a lack of knowledge to this i can only but make assumptions on what he could have done.

when i say escape somehow , this seems impossible right ? i was thinking of not as such an escapebut more off a trickery of the nazis. This may seem impossible but surley there must have been a way out in large numbers while the nazis actually watched them leave, there must have been one nazi commander simpathetic to there cause.

i accept he made the ghettos valuable but even he must have known that they could only last for so long .
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by zach12 8 years ago
zach12
and i meant to say chelmno not chelmna in the first post...
Posted by zach12 8 years ago
zach12
in response to my opponent's last post. Rumkowski believed that if he preserved the ghetto long enough, it might have been liberated and saved lives. Unfortunately, the Red Army stopped their advance a mere 60 miles from the ghetto and this allowed it to be liquidated before the liberators arrived.
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Vote Placed by Alex 8 years ago
Alex
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Vote Placed by zach12 8 years ago
zach12
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saamanthagrl
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