There’s no doubt that every one of Ross’ images conveys a specific message and intent. But what were his overarching motivations? It could be that Ross was trying to collect evidence of Nazi crimes. Or he may simply have been exercising his natural instincts as a photographer to capture the world around him.
Whatever his reasons, though, the Lodz ghetto proved to be an utterly compelling photographic subject. Established in 1940, it was the second largest such area in Poland, smaller only than the ghetto in the capital, Warsaw. In fact, at one stage it was home to around 200,000 Jews. It was also the longest surviving ghetto, lasting as it did for four years.