The Jewish district in Wieniawa
History of the Place
Before WWII the settlement of Wieniawa was situated in the suburbs of Lublin. Its beginnings can be traced back to the 17th century and from then on it steadily grew to become a separate Jewish community with its own synagogue and cemetery. Wieniawa is also connected with the history of a particular individual who became very important for the Lublin Jewish community – the Seer of Lublin, Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz, one of the most famous Polish Hasids. It was in Wieniawa that his first Hasidic court was established. When in 1916 the settlement was incorporated into the administrative borders of Lublin, the Seer moved to the Jewish Quarter in Podzamcze. Up until the outbreak of WWII the Jewish inhabitants of Wieniawa made up 70 % of its total population.
In May 1940 the German Nazi forces relocated Jews to Podzamcze and demolished their houses and cemetery. The debris, together with the shattered matzevot, were used by the Germans for constructing new buildings and stairs as well as paving courtyards and garden paths. Parts of the local cemetery and town square were turned into a work camp, the so-called Sportplatz. Prisoners held in KL Majdanek and other camps were brought here as labourers and made to work on the future sports stadium designed for German civilians. On the premises of the Roman Keindl cosmetics factory in Ogródkowa Street, medicine and cosmetics taken from Jews deported to death camps were recycled. Camps in the Lublin region were liquidated on the 3rd of November 1943 during Aktion "Erntefest" and people imprisoned there were murdered at Majdanek in a mass execution.
Today, Wieniawa is one of the districts of Lublin. The only historical trace left of the old Jewish Quarter is the building which housed the Konopnica Municipal Office and which today is the home of the Association of the Deaf.
In two selected locations in the area of the former Jewish Quarter in Wieniawa 2 concrete slabs were placed. They are situated in Leszczyńskiego Street next to the only original building in the district which housed the Konopnica Municipal Office and which today is the home of the Association of the Deaf. Each of the slabs is 1m x 1m in size and bears 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 former Wieniawa Quarter:
The Jewish Quarter in Wieniawa
The area of the former, pre-war suburb of Wieniawa, established as a separate town at the beginning of the 17th century and incorporated into Lublin in 1916. By 1939, Jewish inhabitants constituted 70% of its population. The centre of Wieniawa was its town square, next to which the synagogue, the prayer house and the cemetery were situated. In May 1940 the German forces relocated Jews to Podzamcze, the buildings and the Jewish cemetery were destroyed. A sports stadium for German inhabitants was built in the area where the town square of Wieniawa and a part of its cemetery were situated.