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ZELOW , town in Lodz province, near *Lask, central Poland. Jews settled there in the second half of the 19th century and earned their livelihood mainly in the local textile factories. They numbered 922 (30% of the total) in 1897 and 1,816 (34%) in 1921. In 1939 there were approximately 3,500 Jews in Zelow comprising about 60% of the total population. The Germans entered Zelow on Sept. 6, 1939, and forced the Jewish community into a restricted zone in town. The number of Jews swelled to 6,000 with the influx of refugees from nearby towns. No formal ghetto was established, and the Jews could maintain a certain amount of illegal trade across the border of the General Government. Although the Judenrat supplied able-bodied workers to the German authorities, raids were carried out against people in the streets for forced labor. Prior to the final liquidation of the Jewish community of Zelow the Germans publicly executed ten Jewish prisoners and deported 245 able-bodied men to the *Lodz ghetto. In September 1942 the ghetto was liquidated. Some of the Jews were killed on the spot, others were transported to the extermination camp at *Chelmno, and a few hundred young people were sent to forced labor camps.


I. Trunk, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 2:1–4 (1949), 64–166 (passim); D. Dabrowska (ed.), Kronika getta lodzkiego, vols. 1–2 (1965–1966), passim; idem, in: bŻih, 13–14 (1955); B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach xix i xx (1930), 75.

[Danuta Dombrowska]