Lublin Ghetto

The Lublin Ghetto was a World War II ghetto created by Nazi Germany in the city of Lublin on the territory of General Government in occupied Poland.[1] The ghetto inmates were mostly Polish Jews, although a number of Roma were also brought in.[2] Set up in March 1941, the Lublin Ghetto was one of the first Nazi-era ghettos slated for liquidation during the most deadly phase of the Holocaust in occupied Poland.[3] Between mid-March and mid-April 1942 over 30,000 Jews were delivered to their deaths in cattle trucks at the Bełżec extermination camp and additional 4,000 at Majdanek.[1][4]

Lublin Ghetto
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-019-1229-30, Polen, zwei Soldaten bei Stadtbummel
Two German soldiers in the Lublin Ghetto, May 1941
Also known asGerman: Ghetto Lublin or Lublin Reservat
LocationLublin, German-occupied Poland
Incident typeImprisonment, forced labor, starvation, exile
OrganizationsNazi SS
Campdeportations to Belzec extermination camp and Majdanek
Victims34,000 Polish Jews


Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S41858, Odilo Globocnik
Odilo Globocnik in 1938, future head of genocidal Operation Reinhard in Lublin
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-E13871, Polen, Ghetto Lublin, jüdische Frauen
Jewish women in occupied Lublin, September 1939
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H27928, Polen, Ghetto Lublin, Polizei-Einsatz
The German Order Police from Orpo descending to the cellars on a jew-hunt, Lublin, December 1940

Already in 1940, before the actual ghetto was pronounced, the SS and Police Leader Odilo Globocnik (the SS district-commander who also run the Jewish reservation), began to relocate the Lublin Jews further away from his staff headquarters at Spokojna Street,[5] and into a new city zone set up for this purpose. Meanwhile, the first 10,000 Jews had been expelled from Lublin to the rural surroundings of the city beginning in early March.[6]

The Ghetto, referred to as the Jewish quarter (or Wohngebiet der Juden), was formally opened a year later on 24 March 1941. The expulsion and ghettoization of the Jews was decided when the arriving Wehrmacht troops preparing for the Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, needed housing close to the new German–Soviet frontier.[6] The Ghetto, the only one so far in the Lublin district of Generalgouvernement in 1941, was located around the area of Podzamcze, from the Grodzka Gate (renamed "Jewish Gate" to mark the boundary between the Jewish and non-Jewish sections of the city) and then along Lubartowska and Unicka streets, to the end of the Franciszkańska Street. Selected members of the prewar political parties such as the Jewish Bund in Poland were imprisoned in the Lublin Castle and continued to carry out their underground activities from there.[7] Widely feared collaborator was Szama (Shlomo) Grajer, owner of a Jewish restaurant with a brothel on Kowalska Street.[8] Grajer was a Gestapo informer. Dressed like a German official, Grajer summoned to his restaurant a number of wealthy Jews and extracted a ransom of 20,000 zloty from every one of them.[8] He also used to hunt for good looking girls starving in the Ghetto for his Nazi brothel, therefore the tight-knit families made sure to hide them from him.[8] Grajer had cornered the beautiful daughter of Judenrat president Marek Alten, and married her. They were shot dead together, during the final liquidation of Majdan.[8]

Liquidation of the Ghetto

At the time of its founding, the ghetto imprisoned 34,000 Polish Jews,[1] and an unknown number of Roma people. Virtually all of them were dead by the war's end. Most of the victims, about 30,000 were deported to the Belzec extermination camp (some of them through the Piaski ghetto) between 17 March and 11 April 1942 by the Reserve Police Battalion 101 from Orpo helped by Schutzpolizei.[9] The Germans set a daily quota of 1,400 inmates to be deported to their deaths. The other 4,000 people were first moved to the Majdan Tatarski ghetto – a small ghetto established in the suburb of Lublin – and then either killed there during roundups or sent to the nearby KL Lublin/Majdanek concentration camp.[1]

Majdanek - enterace
Showers (left) and gas chambers (right) at Majdanek

The last of the Ghetto's former residents still in German captivity were murdered at Majdanek and Trawniki camps in the Operation Harvest Festival (German: Aktion Erntefest) on 3 November 1943.[10] At the time of the liquidation of the ghetto, the German propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary, "The procedure is pretty barbaric, and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews."[1]

After liquidating the ghetto, German authorities employed a slave labor workforce of inmates of Majdanek to demolish and dismantle the area of the former ghetto, including in the nearby village of Wieniawa and the Podzamcze district. In a symbolic event, the Maharam's Synagogue (built in the 17th century in honor of Meir Lublin) was blown up with explosives. Several centuries of Jewish culture and society in Lublin were brought to an end. The Jewish prewar population of 45,000 constituting about a third of the town's total population of 120,000 in 1939 was eradicated.[5][10]

Main extermination ghettos in occupied Poland marked with stars; death camps, with white on black skulls. Lublin, lower centre

A few individuals managed to escape the liquidation of the Lublin Ghetto and made their way to the Warsaw Ghetto, bringing the news of the Lublin destruction.[1] The eyewitness evidence convinced some Warsaw Jews that in fact, the Germans were intent on exterminating the whole of the Jewish population in Poland.[11] However, others, including head of the Warsaw's Judenrat, Adam Czerniaków, at the time dismissed these reports of mass murders as "exaggerations".[3] Only 230 Lublin Jews are known to have survived the German occupation.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Fischel, Jack (1998). The Holocaust. Greenwood. p. 58.
  2. ^ Doris L. Bergen, War & Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002, pg. 144. ISBN 0-8476-9631-6.
  3. ^ a b Lawrence N. Powell, Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana, UNC Press, 2002, pg. 125 [1]
  4. ^ The statistical data compiled on the basis of "Glossary of 2,077 Jewish towns in Poland" Archived 2016-02-08 at the Wayback Machine by Virtual Shtetl Museum of the History of the Polish Jews  (in English), as well as "Getta Żydowskie," by Gedeon,  (in Polish) and "Ghetto List" by Michael Peters at  (in English). Accessed July 12, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Grodzka Gate Centre, History of Grodzka Gate (the Jewish Gate). Remembrance of Lublin's multicultural history. Also: "Operation Reinhard" in Lublin with relevant literature. Accessed July 2, 2014.
  6. ^ a b (in German) Barbara Schwindt, Das Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Majdanek: Funktionswandel im Kontext der "Endlösung", Königshausen & Neumann, 2005, p.56, ISBN 3-8260-3123-7
  7. ^ Robert Kuwalek, "Lublin's Jewish Heritage Trail"
  8. ^ a b c d Helena Ziemba née Herszenborn, Irena Gewerc-Gottlieb (2001). "Ścieżki Pamięci, Żydowskie Miasto w Lublinie – Losy, Miejsca, Historia (Path of Memory. Jewish Town in Lublin - Fate, Places, History)". 1. Mój Lublin Szczęśliwy i Nieszczęśliwy; 2. W Getcie i Kryjówce w Lublinie (PDF file, direct download 4.9 MB) (in Polish). Rishon LeZion, Israel; Lublin, Poland: Ośrodek "Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN" & Towarzystwo Przyjaźni Polsko-Izraelskiej w Lublinie. pp. 24, 27, 29, 30.
  9. ^ Browning, Christopher R. (1998) [1992]. Arrival in Poland (PDF file, direct download 7.91 MB). Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0060995065. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  10. ^ a b Mark Salter, Jonathan Bousfield, Poland, Rough Guides, 2002, pg. 304 [2]
  11. ^ Alexandra Garbarini, Numbered Days: Diaries and the Holocaust, Yale University Press, 2006, pg. 49 [3]
  • Tadeusz Radzik, Zagłada lubelskiego getta. The extermination of the Lublin Ghetto, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University 2007 (in Polish and English)

External links

Coordinates: 51°15′11″N 22°34′18″E / 51.25304°N 22.57155°E

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Ernst Lerch

Ernst Lerch (19 November 1914 – 1997) was one of the most important men of Operation Reinhard (German: Aktion Reinhard), responsible for "Jewish affairs" and the mass murder of the Jews in the General Government (Generalgouvernement).

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Henio Zytomirski

Henio Zytomirski (Polish: Henio Żytomirski, Hebrew: הניו ז'יטומירסקי‎; 25 March 1933 – 9 November 1942) was a Polish Jew born in Lublin, Poland, who was murdered at the age of 9 in a gas chamber at Majdanek concentration camp during the German Nazi occupation of Poland. Henio became an icon of the Holocaust, not only in Lublin but all over Poland. His life story became a part of the curriculum taught in the general education system in Poland. The "Letters to Henio" project has been held in Lublin since 2005. Henio Zytomirski is one of the heroes of "The Primer" permanent exhibition at barrack 53 of the Majdanek Museum, an exhibition dedicated to children held in the camp.

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Kitty Hart-Moxon

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Laura Hillman

Laura Hillman (born Hannelore Wolff; October 16, 1923) is a German-born American survivor of Holocaust concentration camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau. She is also a Schindlerjuden, who survived with the help of Oskar Schindler. She is also a writer and memoirist, as well as a lecturer on the Holocaust, and a former docent at the Long Beach Museum of Art. In 2005, she published a young adult book about her experiences during the Holocaust called i will plant you a lilac tree – a memoir of a Schindler's list survivor.

List of Nazi ghettos

This article is a partial list of selected Jewish ghettos created by the Nazis for the purpose of isolating, exploiting and finally, eradicating Jewish population (and sometimes Gypsies) on territories they controlled. Most of the prominent ghettos listed here were set up by the Third Reich and its allies in the course of World War II. In total, according to USHMM archives, "The Germans established at least 1,000 ghettos in German-occupied and annexed Poland and the Soviet Union alone." Therefore, the examples are intended only to illustrate their scope across Eastern and Western Europe.


Lublin (Polish: [ˈlublʲin] (listen)) is the ninth largest city in Poland and the second largest city of Lesser Poland. It is the capital and the center of Lublin Voivodeship (province) with a population of 349,103 (March 2011). Lublin is the largest Polish city east of the Vistula River and is approximately 170 kilometres (106 miles) to the southeast of Warsaw by road.

One of the events that greatly contributed to the city's development was the Polish-Lithuanian Union of Krewo in 1385. Lublin thrived as a centre of trade and commerce due to its strategic location on the route between Vilnius and Kraków; the inhabitants had the privilege of free trade in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Lublin Parliament session of 1569 led to the creation of a real union between the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, thus creating the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Lublin witnessed the early stages of Reformation in the 16th century. A Calvinist congregation was founded and groups of radical Arians appeared in the city, making it an important global centre of Arianism. At the turn of the centuries, Lublin was recognized for hosting a number of outstanding poets, writers and historians of the epoch.Until the partitions at the end of the 18th century, Lublin was a royal city of the Crown Kingdom of Poland. Its delegates and nobles had the right to participate in the Royal Election. In 1578 Lublin was chosen as the seat of the Crown Tribunal, the highest appeal court in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and for centuries the city has been flourishing as a centre of culture and higher learning, with Kraków, Warsaw, Poznań and Lwów.

Although Lublin was not spared from severe destruction during World War II, its picturesque and historical Old Town has been preserved. The district is one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments (Pomnik historii), as designated May 16, 2007, and tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland.The city is viewed as an attractive location for foreign investment and the analytical Financial Times Group has found Lublin to be one of the best cities for business in Poland. The Foreign Direct Investment ranking (FDI) placed Lublin second among larger Polish cities in the cost-effectiveness category. Lublin is noted for its green spaces and a high standard of living.

Maharam's Synagogue

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Parczew partisans

The Parczew partisans were fighters in irregular military groups participating in the Jewish resistance movement against Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II. The name of the partisan force, coined by the Holocaust historians, is borrowed from the Parczew forest located a short distance away from Lublin, halfway to the town of Sobibór, the location of the Sobibór extermination camp during the Holocaust in occupied Poland. The Jews who managed to escape from the camp hid in there along with the considerable number of Jewish families of the Lublin Ghetto.The area including Parczew and Włodawa counties near Lublin in the General Government became one of the primary battlefields of the Jewish partisan movement. An area of forests and lakes with few passable roads, the Parczew forests were an ideal location for partisan activity. Notable partisan leaders included Ephraim (Frank) Bleichman , Harold Werner, and Shmuel (Mieczysław) Gruber. Werner and Gruber were second-in-command to Yechiel Grynszpan, who led Jewish forces in the Parczew forest, and Bleichman was one of Grynszpan's two platoon commanders.

The same forest constituted the main base of the non-Jewish Polish partisan movement as well. Such high concentration of resistance including Gwardia Ludowa (GL), Bataliony Chłopskie (BCh), and Armia Krajowa (AK) was possible only due to strong material support from the surrounding counties.


Piaski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈpjaskʲi]), formerly Piaski Luterskie, is a town in Poland at the Giełczew river. The town's population is about 2,660 (2004). Administratively it belongs to Powiat of Świdnik of the Lublin Voivodeship. It lies 16 km Southeast of Świdnik.

Podzamcze, Lublin County

Podzamcze [pɔˈd͡zamt͡ʂɛ] is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Bychawa, within Lublin County, Lublin Voivodeship, in eastern Poland. It lies approximately 2 kilometres (1 mi) north of Bychawa and 24 km (15 mi) south of the regional capital Lublin.

Shmuel Zytomirski

Shmuel Zytomirski (Hebrew: שמואל ז'יטומירסקי‎, Polish: Szmuel Żytomirski; September 16, 1900 – 1944) was a well-known figure at the Jewish community of Lublin before and during World War II and the father of Henio Zytomirski. He died in The Holocaust at the end of the war, after almost all his family were killed by the Nazis. The letters Zytomirski had sent and received during the war document a lost struggle of a brave man who died shortly before the war ended. The information regarding the short life of his son Henio, who became an icon of the Holocaust in Poland, became known to the public from the father's letters. The circumstances of Shmuel Zytomirski's death remain mysterious and are unknown to this day.

Stolpersteine in the Trnava Region

Stolpersteine is the German name for stumbling blocks collocated all over Europe by German artist Gunter Demnig. They remember the fate of the victims of Nazi Germany being murdered, deported, exiled or driven to suicide. The first Stolpersteine of the Trnavský kraj, the Trnava Region of present-day Slovakia (formerly Czechoslovakia), were collocated in August 2016.

Generally, the stumbling blocks are posed in front of the building where the victims had their last self chosen residence. The name of the Stolpersteine in Slovak is: pamätné kamene, memorial stones.

The lists are sortable; the basic order follows the alphabet according to the last name of the victim.

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Rabbi Zadok ha-Kohen Rabinowitz of Lublin (in Hebrew: צדוק הכהן מלובלין) (Kreisburg, 1823 - Lublin, Poland, 1900), (or Tzadok Hakohen or Tzadok of Lublin), was a significant Jewish thinker and Hasidic leader.

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