"Public health" from the perspective of the German administration of the ghettos meant encouraging high suicide rates and rampant disease. The chronicles of the Lodz Ghetto, established by the Germans as a slave labor camp, list hundreds of suicides.1 The following entries are typical:
Hedwig Kupidlarska, from the town of Horandovice in Hungary, a resident of 7 Widok Street, poisoned herself on the 8th of this month. She was taken to Hospital No. 1 in critical condition.
On the 9th of this month, a married couple, the Fischers, a 75-year-old Ignaz "Israel" and 60-year-old Karolina "Sara," took Veronal together to poison themselves. They were taken unconscious to the hospital. The husband died after 24 hours; the wife is now in her death agony.
On the 11th of this month, at 6 o'clock in the morning, Irma Wesela, born in 1885, a seamstress by trade and resettled here from Bohemia, hung herself in her apartment at 67 Franciszkaska Street.