In 1942, the Nazis ordered the ghetto's Jewish Council to deport nearly 20,000 residents. They targeted the elderly, the sick and children under the age of 10, who were not seen to have value as laborers. Rumkowski, the Elder of the Jewish Council, was delegated to prepare the deportation list. He exempted certain people, including the family members of those involved in the ghetto administration.
Many families hid their loved ones, but the German secret police conducted searches, removed these residents from their homes and loaded them into carts. Nearly 18,000 Lodz Ghetto residents were sent to Chelmno to be killed.