Author: Lidia Waluk-Legun

Commonly, Children’s Day is associated with joy and fun, and few people know that the inspiration to introduce this holiday was the need to provide children with one of the basic, and thus the most important, values? safety. The ceremony was initiated by the International Union for Protection of Childrenhood, whose main goal was to ensure the safety of children all over the world, especially against war, harm and hunger.

Today, on International Children’s Day, one child in the world will die of hunger every 8 seconds, 30,000 children die daily before the age of five due to lack of proper care and malnutrition.

Both in Poland and in neighboring countries, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, this holiday is celebrated on June 1.


From December 1942 to January 1945, in the Łódź ghetto, there was a German camp for Polish children aged 2-16, and sometimes there were babies there. It was a camp exclusively for Polish children. The children stayed there in terrible conditions. They were tortured, beaten and killed. After a few months of their stay, they were completely devastated due to hunger, overwork and lack of medical care. Sick children were not treated. The surnames and surnames of the selected children were changed in the camp and sent to German families. After the war, only a few parents managed to find them. Several thousand children passed through the camp.

Virtually nothing was known about the camp until the 1970s, and today not many people know about it.

In 1971, on the initiative of pupils from the Center for Deaf Children in Przemyśl, a monument was erected outside the former camp at the intersection of Bracka and Staszica Streets in the Gray Ranks Park in Łódź. The monument is called the Broken Heart Monument because it shows a broken heart with a little boy in the foreground and other children in the background. In front of the monument there is a plaque with the inscription: „Your life was taken away, today we only give you memory”. Unfortunately, there is no information about the monument and that it concerns Polish children from the German concentration camp hidden in the Lodz ghetto.

In 2012, director Daniel Zagorski made a short animated film entitled: „A fairy tale about Hansel and Gretel”. The movie can be viewed on the Internet. (BELOW)

On Children’s Day, June 1, flowers will be placed at the monument on behalf of my family with an inscription on the sash: „In memory of Polish children from the Nazi camp at Przemyslowa Street.”

Lidia Waluk-Legun


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