Born a Jew in Poland, Grossman grew up to be an artist and a photographer. It's his photographic ability that captured the world's attention because during his life he snapped many photos of the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
Grossman lived in Lodz and held a job for a Jewish organization, taking photos of local children's living conditions and their health. As the Germans invaded his country, his personal and business photographs were lost. The Nazis rounded up the Jews and put them in the Lodz ghetto. Yet, despite possible confiscation and trouble from the Germans, Grossman kept his camera hidden in the big, long overcoat he always wore and took on a job in the department of statistic's photographic lab. This enabled him to continue developing his own photos using their paper and chemicals. Grossman handed his photos out to friends, and when he could no longer develop the photos, he kept canister after canister of film. He hoped that future generations would see the atrocities of Nazi occupation on both the Jews and the Gypsies.
Toward the end of World War II, the Germans sent Grossman to a work camp. Before he was forced to leave the Lodz ghetto, Grossman hid his rolls of film in a brick window frame, hoping someone would later find them. At the work camp, Grossman was sent on a death march and died. Later his sister went to Lodz and retrieved the hidden negatives. She passed them on to the Israelis, but they were destroyed during Israel's War of Independence. The photos that survived over the years were published in a book in 1970 called With a Camera in the Ghetto. My Secret Camera: Life in the Lodz Ghetto was also published.
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