SEE MY SITE ON FACEBOOK :https://www.facebook.com/hi...
SEE FULL PLAYLIST : https://www.youtube.com/pla...
In 1939 Lublin had a population of around 120,000 people, one third of which were Jewish.
The Nazis captured Lublin on 18 September 1939. Whilst still under military occupation, persecution began.
In December 1939 a Judenrat (Jewish Council) was established with 24 members. The head was Henryk Bekker, an engineer who had been a local politician before the war. I have never come across any negative references to Bekker. He was murdered in Bełżec on 30 March 1942. His deputy was Marek Alten who was a lawyer from the region of Tarnów who had been an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army in WW1. He seems to have believed that he could talk to the Germans as equals, particularly if they came from Austria. Within time however it seems as though power went to his head. After the deportations to Bełżec, he became head of the Judenrat and was shot in the ghetto of Majdan Tatarski on 9 November 1942.
The Nazis had a plan of making the Lublin district into a Judenreservat (Jewish settlement area or literally reserve). This policy was discontinued in 1940 after thousands of people from Germany and Austria above all had been brought to small ghettos in the area. Later the Nazis closed some of the smaller ghettos and sent people to Lublin or other ghettos.
The Lublin ghetto as such was set up in March 1941. Even after it was set up, some people who worked for the Nazi authorities were allowed to stay outside the ghetto. The ghetto was formed in the streets around the castle, part of the Old Town and several streets to the north towards where the Yeshiva and Old Jewish cemetery still remain.
The ghetto was not enclosed like at Warsaw, Kraków or Łódż. There were some temporary barbed wire entanglements erected, however for much of the time it was in existence, Jews could live on one side of the street and other people on the other.
People died of starvation in the ghetto but not to the extent that this happened elsewhere as it was possible to bring food into the ghetto. An article in the Berliner Tagblatt of December 1940 had a series of photographs showing people being arrested for trading in foodstuffs.
The reason why people did not escape is clear. They had no documents - where could they go and how would they procure food and shelter?
In the late winter of 1942 the Nazis divided the ghetto in part A for those not working and B which is in the upper part which still survives for those working for the authorities. Thus all the people earmarked for deportation already found themselves in the lower part of the ghetto.
On 16 March 1942, SS-Hauptsturmführer Hermann Höfle informed representatives of Nazi institutions in Lublin that all unemployed Jews would be deported to the last station in Lublin district - a place called Bełżec. The employed would be deported to another ghetto around 3km distant at Majdan Tatarski and from there they would be accommodated in Majdanek. At 22:00 on that day the ghetto was surrounded by SS and Trawniki men. A search light was set up and people forced to attend a roll call. Some, mainly the elderly and ill, were murdered. At midnight Hermann Worthoff from the Lublin Gestapo told the Judenrat that 1,500 people from the lower ghetto would be taken to the east to work and could take only 15 kg of luggage with them.
Those chosen for the journey on this night and every night were put in the Great Synagogue and then marched around 3km to the Umschlagplatz on the periphery of the town.
On 17 March 1942 these people became the first victims of the Bełżec death camp.
Around 1,000 - 1,500 people were taken to Bełżec daily until 14 April 1942. Some people were shot in the Niemce Forest to the north of Lublin.
On 14 April 1942 there were still around 7,000 people in the ghetto, many in hiding. In one of my films you can see the cellars which were uncovered by a building owner. To solve this problem, the Nazis moved everyone to the ghetto in Majdan Tatarski.
The Nazis introduced a J Ausweis for workers (but not their families) as part of the deportation process. On 22 April 1942 they gathered the population in the Po Farze Square. People were forced to kneel and hold their papers up. Those that did not have the correct papers were taken away and murdered.