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.
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. Initially, the targets of the exterminations were mainly Polish Jews. Soon, however, it was extended to encompass Jews coming from the Reich itself, along with German-occupied countries of Western and Southern Europe as well as satellite nations (for example Slovakia). Most transports consisted of freight cars loaded with victims destined for the gas chambers of death camps, with only a few directed to transitional ghettos, which were an intermediary stage in the process of extermination. In order to disguise the atrocity, death camps were located in sparsely populated peripheral regions of the General Government, in the vicinity of small towns – Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka. In June 1942, the operation was given the cryptonym “Reinhardt”, in homage to one of the principal designers of “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question” and the head of the Reich Main Security Office, Reinhard Heydrich.
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).
"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
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.
The church was consecrated in 1604. It is one of the first baroque buildings erected outside Italy. In the second half of the 18th century, after the Society of Jesus had been cassated, the church fell into disrepair. Restoration works were carried out in the first half of the 19th century. In 1823, the church was elevated to a cathedral.
The building of the “Chatka Żaka” (“student’s hut”) Centre, that formerly housed the centre of student services (Dom Usługowy Studenta), was built in the years 1962-1965, to the design of architect Krystyna Różyska-Tołłoczko. Despide the later modifications, it is certainly one of the most interesting post-war buildings in Lublin.
The “Chatka Żaka” enjoys a unique status amongs the buildings at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University campus. It has a refined form, a very interesting layout of bodies and intriguing details, consistent with those used in other buildings of the campus. Its location is also important from the point of view of urban planning of the entire campus complex. It is a kind of keystone between the recreational and dwelling area, and the educational part of the campus, located east of the Sowińskiego Street.
The Grodzka Gate, often called The Jewish Gate, is one of first stone-built elements of the city's fortifications built in 1342 after the permission of king Kazimierz the Great. At the end of the 18th century, the object was rebuilt. This task was commissioned to Dominik Merlini. For centuries The Grodzka Gate was also called The Jewish Gate, as it was a passage between the Old Town and the Jewish district.
"Operation Reinhard" took place mainly in Lublin and Warsaw districts, where concentration camps and death camps were located. In Lublin, the "Operation Reinhard" staff was situated (in the building which today is Collegium Iuridicum of The Catholic University of Lublin at Spokojna St. , headquarters of Odilo Globocnik– chief of police and SS in Lublin region (corner of today Wieniawska St and Czysta St) and his private villa (the building at Boczna Lubomelska St, usually photographed from the side of Leszczyńskiego St), as well as warehouses, where stolen property was segregated and stored (today the The Catholic University of Lublin library at Chopina 27 St).
"Operation Reinhard” was one of the most horryfing 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 no less than 1.5 million Jews in 1.5 year. They were murdered in "death factories" in a large-scale, "industrial" process. During "Operation Reinhard", no less than 600 thousand Jews were killed.
The favourite and privileged temple, in the walls of which, at whose altars, paintings and in sacred vessels [...] Lublin had been offering, throughout generations and centuries, tokens of its religiosity, was the church of St. Michael Archangel, a parish church at first, then a collegiate, commonly called the old parish church, existing on Grodzka Street until 1854.
J.A. Wadowski „Kościoły lubelskie na podstawie źródeł archiwalnych”
The Church of st. Michael the Archangel was the most important temples of Lublin, and its history was inseparably connected with the history of this city. Today it is an invisible church, about which Józef Czechowicz once wrote: "On a green square the stars shine through the gothic ribs of the church made of air".
The Jewish District in Lublin was the home of three painters who won popularity and recognition during their lives. Two of them:Symche (Simon) Binem Trachter (born in 1893 in Lublin, died in 1942 in Treblinka) and Henryk Lewensztadt (born in 1893 in Lublin, died in ?) reached their artistic maturity in the interwar period, and the third painter– Yehuda Razgour (born in 1914 in Lublin, died in 1979 in Paris) received his education and recognition after World War II.
The books of remembrance dedicated to Jewish towns and people who lived in them are special publications commemorating the community destroyed by the Shoah. They were composed after the war, on the initiative of Jewish hometown societies active in Israel and in other countries of Jewish diaspora.
There are two memorial books about the Lublin Jews. The first one was published in Paris in 1952, the other one - “Sefer Zikkaron Lublin” - in Tel Aviv, in 1957. Below, we present a general characterization of the books of remembrance and the contents of the “Sefer Zikkaron Lublin”.
Two ghettos existed in Lublin under the German occupation. The first one, created in 1941, was situated in Podzamcze, the site of the historic Jewish quarter. It operated for one year and was the first ghetto liquidated within the Action Reinhardt, "the Final Solution of the Jewish Question" in the General Government. The liquidation of the ghetto begun at night of 16th /17th March 1942. On the 15th of April 1942, the area was already empty. The Jews present at that time in the ghetto were transported to the Bełżec extermination camp. Those who managed to obtain the relevant documents were transferred to a new ghetto, established in the district of Majdan Tatarski. It functioned until the end of the Action Reinhardt, the 3rd of November 1943 (Action Erntefest ), when the remaining Jews were taken to the concentration camp at Majdanek and shot there.
The Market Square was marked out after Lublin had obtained its town privileges. It was laid out in roughly square shape. The irregular form is a consequence of its location on the curve of the former fortified walls. Hence the western frontage bears a concave form, while the eastern (adjacent to the former walls) is convex. Originally, a pair of streets ran from each corner of the square. Nevertheless, as the time went on and buildings in the area were frequently rearranged, some of the streets became built-up. Lay of the land and layout of the old settlement located on the Old Town’s hill hindered any attempt to design regular-shaped lots. In the 16th century the process of consolidating the parcels had been initiated, causing alterations in the form of buildings in the vicinity of the square.