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Jewish life in Lublin dates back to at least the 14th century. In 1453 King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk
granted the Lublin Jews the privilege of free trade, which in turn resulted in dynamic growth of the
Jewish population in Lublin by the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. Rabbi Jakub from Trident
settled in Lublin in 1475, indicating that a well-organized kehilla was likely present at the time.
In 1518 constrictions were placed on Jewish trade within Lublin. By 1535 Jews were banned from
living within the walls of the city. This resulted in dynamic growth of the Jewish quarter (Podzamcze).
In 1518 a yeshiva (Talmudical Academy) was established in town and became well known through
Europe. In 1567 the Jewish residents built a brick synagogue on Jateczna Street. A smaller shul
was built nearby as well. In the 16th century a large part of Podzamcze was flooded by the
Czechowka River. The Jewish quarter expanded to the drained marshy lands around the castle.
Jewish houses were also built in the suburb of Kalinowszczyzna, located northeast of the city.
Moshe Montalto, a Sephardic physician who settled in Poland in the 17th century, built a synagogue
in Lublin where the congregants prayed in the Sephardic rite. See also: Sephardic Jews in Poland.
In the late 15th century the old Jewish cemetery in Lublin was established. The Council of Four Lands,
the central body of Jewish authority in Poland from 1580 to 1764, met in Lublin. In 1655, the town
was burned by the Muscovite-Cossack Army, resulting in the murders of around 2,000 Jews. In 1656
the Swedish Army wreaked havoc on the Jewish community. Constant economic restrictions from
the local authorities aimed to prevent the development of Jewish trade. The Lublin kehilla was only
fully restored in the second half of the 18th century. At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries Lublin
became an important center of Hasidic Judaism in accordance with the teachings of Baal Shem Tov
and the preachings of his follower Jacob Icek Horowitz, the Seer from Lublin. At the beginning of the
20th century the richest and most assimilated Jews in Lublin possessed large tenement houses,
breweries, mills, tanneries, tobacco plants, and numerous stores in the whole town area. However,
the majority of Jews in town were poor, traditionally religious, poorly educated, and somewhat isolated
from the Polish culture -- living within only the Jewish quarter of town. In the second half of the 19th
century the Jews from Lublin maintained their own schools, newspapers, social associations, and
sports clubs. In 1886 a Jewish hospital was built on Lubartowska Street. In 1916 there were
already 15 private Jewish schools. Jews manufactured clothing and food products, had a monopoly
on the leather industry, and ran tobacco plants, distilleries, and brickyards. After World War I there
were a number of educational facilities in the city, including Hashomir Hatzair, Tarbut Hebrew School,
Mizrachi's Yavne School, and Beth Jacob School for Girls. From the beginning of WWI up to the
Nazi invasion, Jews in Lublin were faced with tremendous anti-Semitism. Jews were assaulted by
mobs, Jewish businesses were boycotted, and Jewish property was pillaged by the Cossacks. In
1921, the Jewish population was 37,337, with Jews operating 1,714 workshops and businesses in
the city. The Jewish community was supported by 12 synagogues, an array of private prayer houses,
a hospital, an orphanage, three cemeteries, a network of schools and the Chachmei yeshiva. Inspired
by Lublin's substance, novelist Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote a book called "The Magician of Lublin".
Prior to WWII, Lublin was the center of religious life for thousands of Jewish families. Students came
from all over Europe to study at the yeshiva in the city. In 1931 Lublin was inhabited by 38,937 Jews
who constituted 35% of the overall town population. By 1939, the population of Jews in Lublin reached
more than 42,000 -- about 1/3 of the total city population. In November 1939, Jews living in the center
of the city (including Krakowskie Przedmiescie and its side streets) were forced to relocate to the
traditionally Jewish Podzamcze district. Soon, the Jews were beset by a series of repressive measures.
Lublin became a regional Nazi headquarters for Operation Reinhardt, the main effort to murder Jews
in occupied Poland. Jews were stigmatized with Star of David armbands, a work requirement was
imposed, the use of public transportation and public facilities was prohibited, bank accounts were
closed, religious practice was forbidden, access to educational institutions was denied, involuntary
monetary and material contributions were demanded and, eventually, Jewish enterprises and real
estate were seized. In the beginning of 1940, a Judenrat was created, comprised of 24 members and
headed by Henryk Bekker and Marek Alten. The Judenrat headquarters was at 11 Grodzka Street.
Other Judenrat members in Lublin were: Aron Bach, Aizik Brodt, Aizik Bursztyn, Urysz Cymerman,
Dawid Dawidson, Dawid Edelstein, Dawid Frajdenberg, Abraham Goldsobel, Jozef Goldztern, Szlomo
Halbersztadt, David Hochgemein, Leon Hufnagel, Aron Jankiel Kantor, Yitzhak Kerszman, Szloma
Kerszenblum, Shlomo Kestenberg, Jacob Kelner, Daniel Kupferminc, Aleksander Lewi, Yitzchak
Lewinson, Nachman Lerner, Dawid Rechtman, Josef Rotrubin, Dr. Josef Siegfried, M. Sztokfisz,
Moritz Szlaf, Szulim Tajkef, Benzion "Boleslaw" Tenenbaum, Josef Wajselfisz, and Wolf Wiener. The
Judenrats in the Lublin district, in general, were not complicit with the Nazis and resisted when possible.
In March 1941, Ernst Zoerner, the governor of Lublin, announced that "a Jewish residential district"
that encompassed the Podzamcze district (to Lubartowska Street) and a section of the Old Town. The
creation of the ghetto was preceded by the resettlement of approximately 10,000 Jews from the Lublin
district. During the entire time the Lublin Ghetto existed, it was never completely sealed; however, the
concentration of an almost 40,000-person population in such a small area contributed to terribly
cramped living conditions and worsening sanitary and hygienic conditions which led to the outbreak
epidemics which, in turn, when combined with rampant hunger and debilitating work, decimated the
population of Lublin's Jewish quarter. The first major deportation from the Lublin ghetto began on
March 16-17, 1942. During the month-long deportation operation (that lasted until mid-April 1942)
approximately 30,000 Jews from the Lublin ghetto were sent to the Belzec Death Camp, while about
1500 others were shot on the spot. The remaining 4,000 Jews were transferred to Majdan Tatarski.
The fate of the Majdan Tatarski ghetto was decided on November 9, 1942. Most of its inhabitants were
sent to the Majdanek Concentration Camp on foot. After the final liquidation of the Majdan Tatarski
Ghetto, it was burnt to the ground. On September 2, 1942, 2,000 Jews were murdered and another
1,800 were murdered in October of 1942. The remaining 200 Jews were sent to the Majdanek Camp.
Others in in the Lublin area were taken to the New Cemetery and shot execution style or buried alive.
A vast network of sadistic labor camps was established throughout the Lublin district. Not only were
Jewish residents of the district sent to these camps (ultimately, nearly all of the slave laborers at these
camps were murdered), but many Jews from outside of Poland were also sent to the district for slave labor.
"Erntefest", Operation Harvest Festival, began at dawn on November 3, 1943. "Erntefest" was the code
name for the Nazi operation to kill all Jews remaining in the Lublin District of the Generalgouvernement
(a territory in the interior of occupied Poland) in the fall of 1943. The timing of the operation was in
response to several efforts by surviving Jews to resist the Nazis: including the uprisings at the Sobibor
and Treblinka extermination camps, and armed resistance in the Warsaw, Bialystok, and Vilna ghettos.
The SS feared additional Jewish-led revolts in the Generalgouvernement. To prevent further resistance,
the SS decided to kill most of the remaining Jews, who were employed in forced labor projects and were
concentrated in the Trawniki, Poniatowa, and Majdanek concentration camps. Trawniki and Poniatowa
were surrounded by S.S. and police units. Jews were then taken out of the camps in groups and shot
in nearby pits dug for this purpose. At Majdanek, Jews were first separated from the other prisoners.
They were then taken in groups to nearby trenches and shot. Jews from other labor camps in the Lublin
area were also taken to Majdanek and shot. Music was played through loudspeakers at both Majdanek
and Trawniki to drown out the noise of the mass shooting. The killing operation was completed in a single
day at Majdanek and Trawniki. At Poniatowa the shootings took two days. End result: 42,000 Jews killed.
At the beginning of August, 1944, about 300 Jews were living in Lublin, but only 15 were originally from
Lublin. The number grew to 3,000 Jews by 1945 as refugees from other places repopulated Lublin.
The Nazis in charge of the massacre of Jews of Lublin include: Ernst Zorner, Odilo Globocnik, Hans Frank,
Jakob Sporrenberg, Hermann Hoefle, Wilhelm Altenloh, Franz Bartetzko, Richard Dibus, Wenzel Eehwald
(or Fritz Rehwald?), Heinz Errelis, Alfons Goetzfrid, Gustav Hanelt, Willi Hausler, Lothar Heimbach,
Erich Kalich, Walter Knitzky, Bernhard Lel, Ernst Lerch, Hans Lissy, Walter Liska, Georg Michalsen,
Hugo Raschendorf, Hermann Rolfing, Mauritius Schnur, Kuno Schramm, Richard Schuh, Kurt Seidel,
Harry Sturm, and Hermann Worthoff. Nazis whose first names are not known include: Calverini (from
Italy), Schuller, and Seylitz (Seidlitz?). Jewish collaborators were Szama Grajer and the German Meininger.
A full list of Lublin and Majdanek Nazis is available online here.
Nazis at Majdanek, Lipowa 7, Budzyn, Krasnik, and Poniatowa are listed separately.
Karl Streibel was commander of the Trawniki Labor Camp. He named Franz Bartetzko and his deputy
and Staff Sergeant Josef Napieralla (Napiralla) to manage the day-to-day operations of the camp.
Other senior Trawniki staff included Willi Franz, Jurgen Lassmann, Johann "Franz" Schwarzenbacher,
Erich Lachmann, Gustav Munzberger and Ernst Schemmel. A list of Ukrainian Trawnikis at the camp is available.
Please review the site content below. Zachor - We Remember.
[Surnames] [History] [Wikipedia - Lublin] [Holocaust]
[Life in the Lublin Ghetto] [The Lublin Ghetto] [Lublin Ghetto Listing]
[Video of the Lublin Ghetto] [Death Incidents Database]
[Jewish Partisans in Lublin District] [Jewish Revolts in Lublin District]
[Ancestry.com List of Prisoners of War in Lublin, 1939-1941]
[Aktion Erntefest in Lublin, Nov. 1943] [Lublin Village Listing]
[Estimated Pre-WWII Jewish Population - Lublin District]
[Deportations of Jews to the Lublin District During the Holocaust]
[Lublin District Jewish Holocaust and History Discussion Forums]
[Lists of Data Relevant to Holocaust Victims & Survivors from Lublin]
[Synagogues] [Chachmei Yeshiva] [Jewish Education in Lublin]
[Cemeteries] [Memorials] [Righteous Gentiles]
[Sephardic Jews of Lublin] [Family Research in SE Poland]
[Lublin Jewish Organization and their Descendants in Israel]
[Kehilalinks Lublin Remembrance Website]
Lublin Descendant Organizations
Lublin Descendants in Canada
Lublin Descendants in the USA
Lublin Cemetery Plots in the USA
Lublin Immigrants to America
Click to subscribe to Lublin-Jewish
Learn more at the Belzec Remembrance Project
Learn more at the Majdanek Rememberance Project.
Map of Jewish Lublin.
Students at the Chachmei Yeshiva. Almost all of the students were murdered in the Shoah.
Family Szolson (Szolsohn) of Lublin, murdered in the Shoah. Click here for more.
The Lublin ghetto was established in March, 1941. This is a photo from the ghetto.
Jews in the Lublin Ghetto.
Jews in the Lublin Ghetto.
Jews in the Lublin Ghetto.
caps in deference to a German officer standing next to the photographer.
Henio Zytomirski, a Jewish boy from Lublin murdered at the Majdanek Concentration Camp.
Roma women in the Lublin Ghetto, 1942.
A deportation to Sobibor Death camp.
the largest mass execution carried out at any of the concentration camps.
Jewish Holocaust survivors marching in Lublin, 1960s or 1970s.
New Jewish cemetery photograph.
Gravestones at the new Jewish cemetery in Lublin.
The structure of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, established in 1924, survived the war.
It is being transformed into a museum to educate people about Hasidic life in Europe.
Click here for enlarged photo.
Join the Lublin group on Facebook!
City of Lublin:
Article: After 70 Years, Holocaust Survivor Unites with Righteous Rescuer
Article: A Family Searches for Its History
Article: A Weekend of Remembrance of Yeshivat Chochmei Lublin
Collaborator Points out 20 Jews Hiding in Cellar to Lublin S.S.
Article: Letters from Lublin
Grodzo Jewish Gate of Memory in Lublin
Article: Lublin Holocaust Victim on Facebook
Jewish Virtual Library: Lublin
Lublin Ghetto Listing - April 1942
Lublin and Majdanek Professional Heritage Tour
Lublin Jewish Genealogy eGroup
Lublin Jewish Heritage
Lublin Yizkor Books Online (no English)
Necrology: From the Lublin Yizkor Book
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin: Lublin
Polish Archives at Lublin
Pre-war Jewish address cards, Lublin
Scenes from the Lublin Ghetto
Society for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland: Lublin
Virtual Tour of Jewish Lublin (video)
Yeshiva Chachmei Reopened
Ghetto Listing: Poland
Budzyn Labor Camp (Krasnik)
Chelm Ghetto Uprising
Lipowa 7 Labor Camp (Lublin)
Belzec Death Camp
Gross Rosen Concentration Camp
Majdanek Concentration Camp (Liberation of Majdanek)
Majdanek sub-camp: Poniatowa
Majdanek sub-camp: Trawniki
Majdanek - A Poem by Rosette Goldstein
Plaszow Concentration Camp (Krakow)
Putskow Concentration Camp
Sobibor Death Camp
Treblinka Death Camp
Families of Lublin:
Biterman / Bitterman family
Horowicz (Horowitz) family
Lublin family (Hasidic rabbis)
Rajman (Rahman) family
Wejnstajn (Wajnstejn) family
(See also: Rabbis below)
Hela Felenbaum Weiss
Rabbi Shneur Zalman Fradkin (Liader)
Alter Moshe Goldman
Rabbi Moses Isserles
Chaim Josef Keymon
Yitzhak Sadeh (Isaac Landoberg)
Rabbi Yehuda Meir Shapiro
Rabbis and Cantors of Lublin:
(in approximate order of service)
Solomon Szlomo Luria
Shimon Wolf Auerbach
Mordechai Yoffe (Jaffe)
Yitzhak ben Nuta HaKohen
Meir Ben Gedalia (Meir Lublin)
Shmuel Eliezer ben Yehuda Eidles
Yoel Jaffe Sirkes
Naftali ben Yitzhak HaKohen Katz
Aharon Shimon Szapira
Efraim Zalman Shor
Avraham HaLevi Epstein
Yaakov ben Efraim Naftali Hirsh
Shneur Zalman Fradkin (Liader)
Zadok HaKohen Rabinowitz
Tsvi Elimelech Szapira
Yehuda Meir Shapiro
Aryeh Tzvi Fromer
Yehoshua Hershel Bess, cantor
Dr. Chaim Cymerman, cantor
Moshe Efraim Gotlib, cantor
Yehoshua Eliezar Gotlib, cantor
Zakharia Hershman, cantor
Abraham Rabinowitz, cantor
Moshe Szternberg, cantor
Yaakov Singer (Zinger), cantor
Shlomo Wajsleder, cantor
Survivors of Lublin:
Note: Additional survivors listed in Polish Children Survivors,
Sharit HaPlatah, and Pinkas HaNitzolim I and II
Rivka Ruth Abarbanel
Luba Lox Elbaum
Jacob Frank (testimony)
Josef Gerson (went to Algeria)
Lillian Gertler Kronberg (testimony)
Shoshana Golan, aka Rozia Beiman (testimony)
Jozef Goldberg (repatriated in Gluszyca)
Rosalie Zinta Gostin
Kitty Felix Hart-Moxon
Felix Horn (video testimony)
Lucille Horn (video testimony)
Jozef Kopytko (repatriated in Gluszyca)
Jerzy Kwit (went to Sweden)
Majer Lichtensztajn (repatriated in Gluszyca)
Helene Lukas Bart
Janina Spinner Mehlberg
Rivka Polak Krol (video testimony)
Frieda Fogel Rapaport
Rosa Diacomo Rodica
Frumka Rubenstein Rudicky
Fagla Stajnowicz (went to France)
Majer Sztrum (went to France)
Nechama Bawnik Tec (testimony)
Benjamin Wajnbaum (went to Mauritius)
Icchak Wajnryb (Karmi)
Jakub Weksler Waszkinel
Hela Felenbaum Weiss
Righteous Gentiles of Lublin:
Josef and Marianna Holtzer
Fr. Zygmunt Surdacki
Jewish Records Indexing Poland - Lublin
Jewish Vital Records in the Polish State Archives
Remember Your Family:
The DNA Shoah Project: Connecting Descendants
Central Judaica Database - Museum of History of Polish Jews
Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors on Facebook
Guide to the YIVO Archives
Holocaust News/Events from Generations of the Shoah Int'l
Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database
JewishGen Family Finder
JewishGen Holocaust Database
JRI-Poland: Search for Your Family
Museum of History of Polish Jews Introduction
Yad Vashem: Search for Your Family
Yad Vashem: Submit Names of Your Family Members
Yad Vashem Requests Photos of Shoah Survivors and Families
Israel: Lublin Jewish Organization and their Descendants
Josef Dakar (Zakrojczyk), Honorary Chair
U.S.: Aaron Biterman