Jewish organizations in Lublin after 1944
Along with the liberation of Lublin under the aegis of the communist government Jewish life revived, initially focused on provision of necessary material assistance to Jews, coming to Lublin from the region, republics of the USSR and western areas of the General Government.
Liberation, "Lublin’s Poland" and beginnings of the post-war Jewish life in Lublin
Activity of Jewish organizations in Lublin after the Shoah started, when in the end of July 1944 Soviets entered to Lublin, and city became a seat of supreme authorities and administrative centre of “Lublin’s Poland”, which incorporated lands between the Vistula and Bug rivers, including the region of Rzeszowszczyzna, a part of southern Lesser Poland, Podlasie and region of Białystok.
Department for the Jewish Population Affairs
Just two weeks after the liberation (8th August) a group of approximately 300 Jews came to Lublin. Only 15 of them were pre-war inhabitants of Lublin, the rest came from all the region and from Warsaw. At that time was established first Jewish institution that with its range of operation covered all the area of “Lublin’s Poland” - Department for Jewish Population Affairs at the Presidency of PKWN. Main goal of this unit was to provide assistance – accommodation, material and financial help for Jews, coming to town. During first two months of its existence the number of Jews in Lublin increased sevenfold. To Lublin came repatriates from western republics of the USSR, including many social, cultural and political activists, who to a large degree contributed to the revival of the Jewish community life. At the turn of 1944 and 1945 in Lublin there was probably the highest number of Jews in all the post-war history of the city. The fact, that supreme civil and military authorities were staying here gave Jews a sense of security and that is also why many people, who originally were not from here and managed to survive the war, decided to come back here.
Central Committee of Polish Jews (CKŻP)
First institution, that was established in Lublin and played a role similar to the Department for Jewish Population Affairs at the PKWN Presidency, was the Central Committee of Polish Jews. It was created on 12th November 1944 and operated in Lublin until February 1945. Its goal was to coordinate work of pontaneously arising local committees, which aimed mainly for provision of material help for arriving Jews. On 6th March 1945 the CKŻP was transferred to Warsaw.
Provincial Jewish Committee (WKŻ)
In place of CKŻP, which was active in Lublin, a Provincial Jewish Committee (a local branch of CKŻP) was brought into being. The original WKŻ was active from March to August 1945, and then a new WKŻ was formed of the old WKŻ and the Jewish Committee in Lublin (Municipal Committee). It operated from August 1945 to December 1949 and was in charge of such tasks as: supervision and care of Jewish shelter in House of Peretz, ambulatory, eating house, nurseries and kindergarten, it was also responsible for the professional activation of Jewish population. The expenses for the activity if WKŻ were to a large degree covered from the Joint subventions.
Socio-Cultural Association of Jews in Lublin (TSKŻ)
In the beginning of ‘50s, when difficult material situation of the post-war time started to slowly stabilize, a Socio-Cultural Association of Jews in Lublin was formed. As a secular organization, TSKŻ tried to meet the cultural expectations of Jewish community by development of artistic, literary and scientific creativity, promotion of Yiddish language and protection of Jewish heritage in Poland. Today the seat of the Association is in 10 Lubartowska Street (synagogue of Chewra Nosim).
Edited and translated by Magdalena Dziaczkowska