Newsroom Veranstaltungen Team & Kontakt

“Reichsgau Wartheland”, Autumn 1939

The employment offices were some of the first government offices to be set up in the occupied territories. Their top priority was to immediately take stock of the workforce.

The picture shows a crowd of people gathered in front of an entrance with a temporary sign saying "Labour Office".
German employment office in Łódz (1940 – 1945 Litzmannstadt), 1939.
The picture shows the interior of an office in a labour office in Poland. An employee in uniform is scrutinising a card index. In front of him at the table sits a woman who is also processing index cards. To his left is another woman who appers to be waiting for him.
A German employment office in Poland, October 1940. The uniform lends the German employees of the employment offices a military appearance.

The Litzmannstadt (Łódź) employment office was established on September 12, 1939, before the final defeat of Poland. Located in Western Poland, the city was incorporated into the German Reich as part of the “Reichsgau Wartheland”. Here employment offices were more than simple administrative bodies. Having authority over a wide range of monitoring and punitive functions, they were key instruments of German rule.

For the native population, these offices were by necessity important institutions. Only those who registered with these offices were eligible for food coupons. The employment offices were also involved in the expulsion of the native Polish population. They decided who was needed in the labor force and which people appeared to have no use for the German's purposes.

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