Murray Weisman was born in Lodz, Poland in 1930. At the age of nine, on his way to school, he was snatched off the streets by Nazi troops and taken with a truckload of men to a labor camp. He never saw his family again but later learned that most had died at Chelmno after deportation from the Lodz Ghetto. Murray himself is a veteran of no less than seven camps, including Auschwitz, where he escaped death by pretending to be older than he really was. He worked on road construction and as a carpenter. He was liberated from Buchenwald in 1945 and is one of the youngest to have survived such a long imprisonment in the camps. After liberation he went to France under the auspices of the French Government in cooperation with the Jewish Family Service in Paris, the “OSE”. In 1950 he emigrated to the United States. He attended the University of Minnesota and Ohio State, where he obtained a BA, MSW and a JD. He was Executive Director of the Montgomery County Mental Health program and subsequently was a Legal Counsel for the U.S. Air Force. He recently moved to Florida with his wife Marianne. They are the parents of three children.
The Lodz Ghetto was one of the largest Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Europe (205,000 Jewish inhabitants before the war). Lodz is in northern Poland, and at times has been under Russian or Lithuanian control. The ethnic mix is very diverse. The German occupation forces established the ghetto as a vast prison in 1940, herding into it thousands of Jews from all over northern Poland and later from western Europe. During the war years it was a source of slave labor. An unrecorded number of Jews were killed there or died of disease or starvation.