Creation of the Majdanek camp was connected to the plans of germanization of eastern Europe. According to them Majdanek was supposed to be a source of workforce. It was designed for people of various nationalities but the most numerous group of inmates were Jews. Majdanek camp was very different from the camps in Bełżec and Sobibór.
(January 2nd, 1920 – May 12th, 1966)
Joseph Dakar was born as Józef Zakrojczyk on 27 May 1948 in Wałbrzych. When he was a two-year-old child, he moved with his mother to Israel. He has finished law in the Jerusalem University. He has been working as a lawyer in Israel. In 2000 he started to be involved in the affairs of the Lublin Community in Israel and in the years 2003–2017 he was the chairman of the Lublin Jewish Organization in Israel.
The Nursery for Orphans and the Elderly was established in 1862 by the Jewish Community with the purpose of caring for orphans in need and elderly people. It was situated in the Old Town at 11 Grodzka Street. The institution operated under this address until 24 March 1942, when German forces brought it to a close with the mass murder of both child and elderly residents.
On the 16th of March 1942 the German security forces commenced with the liquidation of the ghetto in the Podzamcze District of Lublin, simultaneously undertaking a programme of genocide which, in the months to come, was designed to embrace the entire General Government (GG) and was aimed at nothing less than the biological extermination of the Jewish population, coupled with the plunder of Jewish property. It was part of “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question” formulated by the Third Reich.
The first months of 1941 brought a tightening of German policy regarding Jews in the whole General Government territory. The advancing process of ghettoization in that period had claimed many towns and cities, among them Kraków, Radom, Częstochowa and Kielce. It was a period when the city of Lublin also witnessed the creation of its own ghetto. The small number of Jews who could reside outside its boundaries were those in possession of special permits or dispatched to working places. The privileged few included city hall and the Judenrat clerks, doctors, as well as chosen craftsmen who did specific jobs commissioned by the Germans. In the months to come, the living conditions of the majority of Jewish citizens deteriorated significantly, leading to the outbreak of typhoid fever and resulting in an increased death toll. Many of the ghetto inhabitants lived on the verge of utter desitution while the Judenrat, facing constantly diminishing money and food supplies, could not help prevent the intensifying pauperization. Despite the dramatically severe conditions, the Lublin Jews were not left dying in the streets, as was the case in the Warsaw ghetto. The situation had not improved, however, until the beginning of 1942, when the ghetto was divided.
The functioning of the Jewish district in Podzamcze during the German occupation can be divided into four periods. The first one commenced with the German invasion of Lublin and lasted until March 1941. The second period was marked with the decree issued by the Lublin District Governor Ernst Zörner, which regulated the establishment of the ghetto. The third period started at the turn of 1941 and 1942, with the German division of the ghetto into sections A and B. On the night of 16th/17th March 1942, the final phase of the functioning of the ghetto began, which concluded in mid April with a complete liquidation of the Jewish District in Podzamcze.
Operation "Reinhard" was one of the most horrifying events in the history of mankind. There was no single institution which would plan and control the action. The whole Nazi administration was involved in the process. Its each element was necessary for the operation. Good workflow organization allowed the Nazis to eliminate 2 million Jews in 1.5 year. They were murdered in "death factories" in a large-scale, "industrial" process. During Operation "Reinhard", no less than 700 thousand Jews were killed.
"Kol Lublin" ("Voice of Lublin") is the annual magazine of Jews with Lublin roots in Israel and of the diaspora. It is the main forum for communication amongst our community. Fifty years have passed since the first annual was published. We believe that the variety of subjects, the abundance of data, and the richness of expression in "Kol Lublin" form a complement to the “Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora: Lublin”, the pre-eminent publication containing information about the Jewish community in Lublin.
Text by: Neta Żytomirska-Avidar
Czechowicz was born, created his works and died in Lublin. His tragic death is reminded by the statue of the poet in Plac Czechowicza. The poet is seen as a nostalgic and catastrophic writer, nevertheless, he was also the leader of Lublin avantgarde and bohemia. The author of Poemat o mieście Lublinie (A Poem about Lublin) was a modern poet, whose works had strong influence on the next generations. So far, his output in the fields of drama, journalism, translation, photography and pedagogy has remained unnoticed. Czechowicz – regionalist has also been forgotten. Above all, this underestimated mistifier, genius and visioner, who lived a short but fascinating life, left – despite his early death – a very rich collection of works.
The "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre" Centre organises events to commemorate Józef Czechowicz’s birth and death, every year there is also a public reading of Poemat o mieście Lublinie (A Poem about Lublin) combined with a walk around the places described in it. Special papers contributed to the poet’s work are issued here as well.
The work camp established in the area of the pre-war Lublin airport, under the corresponding name of Flugplatz, was one of the biggest work camps in the Lublin District. It operated between 1942 and 1943. Prisoners held there included mainly Jewish women and men from various countries, as well as a group of Polish women. During Operation Reinhard it served the function of a selection square for the arriving human transports. It was also used for sorting and storing goods taken from Jews in the death camps of Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka.
Suction lift pumps with wooden pipes were being installed in wells in Lublin already since 1826, and in 1841 engineer of the province, Feliks Bieczyński began to endeavour to replace them with lift-and-force pumps with iron pipes. Count Andrzej Zamoyski’s Machines Factory in Warsaw, that by 1863 had installed three of such devices in municipal wells, accepted the commission. Pumps were meant to be equipped with flywheels and cranks.
After operation tests, the project was accepted for implementation: In the catholic city, where each of 8 wells is about 160 ft deep, suction lift pumps with flywheel and pump casing will be installed, whereas in the Jewish city, where all 4 wells are shallow - lift-and-force pumps are to be fitted.
Zamoyski’s factory also offered a standard design of the pump housing. In the city files from 1809-1874 period such design is kept, submitted by the factory in 1864, when the company was assembling the well on the market square, near the Świętoduska St. and Nowa St. (part of today’s Lubartowska St.) junction.
The Lublin residual ghetto was established in the second half of April 1942 in the working-class district of Majdan Tatarski situated on the south-eastern outskirts of the city. Several thousand Jews, who thanks to their “privileged” status survived the liquidation of the ghetto in Podzamcze, were transferred to this relatively small area. The new Jewish housing zone was called the “Musterghetto” (“master ghetto”) by the German authorities. However, overpopulation and living conditions here were dramatic. The annihilation of the district was carried out in stages, marked by successive selections. The final liquidation of the ghetto took place at the beginning of November 1942 when 200 people were murdered on its premises and those who remained alive were sent to the camp at Majdanek (KL Lublin).
1, 3, 5, 7 Nowa St. and so on, and so forth. M. Aszman’s glass depot, H.M. Gladsztejn’s furniture store, J. Rydzewski’s lunch meats store, wine, vodka and liquor depot, Pharmacy of Mr. Szeliga, M.Sc. And further on... Lubartowska Street. Right turn. Kowalska Street. Or, maybe, a left one and uphill - onto Świętoduska Street. House after house. Step after step. One shop next to another. Another door. Another shop windows. Another advertisements.
This is how one can journey through Lublin while looking at the photographs taken by Stefan Kiełsznia just before the outbreak of World War II.
Existence of a medieval gród (a wooden fortified settlement typical for Slavonic nations) named Lublin at the turn of the 12th century was proved, among others, by the discovery of remnants of the city’s former fortifications. It is not known precisely, since when had the wooden settlement been existing. It might have developed around a wooden watchtower, constructed on nowadays’ castle hill - as tradition has it - already in the times of Bolesław I Chrobry’s reign. It is possible that a brick church was located within the 12th-century settlement.