The Majdan Tatarski ghetto
History of the Place
After the liquidation of the ghetto in Podzamcze, the surviving Jews still judged fit for work were transferred to the area of the new ghetto in Majdan Tatarski. The decree for the Jewish resettlement to Majdan Tatarski was issued by the Lublin District Governor Ernst Zörner on the 16th of April 1942. Only Jews in possession of the J-Ausweis cards were allowed to reside in the ghetto, work permits simultaneously serving the function of a legal pass enabling chosen ghetto inhabitants to leave for work ouside the enclosed area. Jews taking unauthorised leave of the assigned housing zone were punished with death. Polish citizens were only allowed in for official reasons.
The German authorities designated the suburban district of Lublin – Majdan Tatarski – to serve the function of the new ghetto. Before the establishment of the ghetto, the area had been inhabited by workmen employed in Tatary and Bronowice who, as a consequence of the Jewish resettlement plan, were forced to leave their homes and relocate into the city itself.
The area of the so-called residual ghetto (designed for only 4,000 Jews) additionally became a shelter for a similar amount of “clandestine” people, the total numer of its inhabitants rising to 8,000. The historical Rolna Street was the main road of the ghetto. From the very onset, Majdan Tatarski was the principal site for selections resulting in executions and deportations. In the wake of three resettlement actions which took place in April, September and October 1942, Jews who could not document their stay in Majdan Tatarski with an official permit were taken to the ghetto in Piaski, sent to the Majdanek camp or executed in the Krępiecki Forest.
On the 9th November 1942 the German Order Service officers commenced with the final liquidation of the ghetto. Approximately 3,000 Jews were sent to Majdanek and several dozen people were moved to the work camp in Lipowa Street or the prison at the Lublin Castle. Around 190 people, including the members of the Judenrat and the Jewish police, were executed on the spot. Only a very few managed to escape.
Marking the boundaries of the ghetto in Majdan Tatarski
The Majdan Tatarski ghetto was situated in the area of the present-day Bronowice district. For the needs of the project the employees of the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre together with the project expert from the State Museum at Majdanek, Krzysztof Banach, carried out on-site verification in the area. As a result, the boundaries of the ghetto in Majdan Tatarski, the location of its entrance gate and of the historical Rolna and Gromadzka Streets were determined. An important element of the on-site research were various meetings with district inhabitants who could still recall the period when the getto was functioning.
In a selected location situated in the area of the former ghetto in Majdan Tatarski, 2 concrete slabs (1m x 1m in size) were placed. Both of them bear a metal band in which the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet is cut. The typeface of the letter resembles that used for the preparation of The Book of Zohar. Additionally, the slabs are inscribed with the following bilingual information (Polish and English) on the history and significance of the site:
The Ghetto in Majdan Tatarski
The place where the historical Rolna Street was situated, the main road of the residual ghetto established by the German occupying forces in the Majdan Tatarski District, from which all Polish inhabitants were evicted. After 17 April 1942, approx. 8,000 Jewish survivors of the Liquidation of the Ghetto in Podzamcze were relocated here. Nearly 3,000 people without residence permits were murdered in the Krępiec Forest. As a result of subsequent selections Jews were moved to the Majdanek camp and the ghetto in Piaski, from which they were most probably sent to the death camp in Sobibór.
On 9 November 1942, the German Security Police commenced the final liquidation of the ghetto. Approx. 3,000 Jews were led to Majdanek and dozens sent to the work camp at Lipowa Street or the prison at the Lublin Castle. Approx. 190 people, including the members of the Judenrat and the Jewish police, were executed on the spot. Only a few people managed to escape.