On the eve of World War II, 40,000 Jews lived in Lublin, which constituted about 35% of the population. During the early months of the occupation, the Germans had plans to create a Lublin reservation, where all the Jews from the General Government and other parts of Poland annexed to the Reich, as well as those from the Reich itself, were to be concentrated. By February 1940, 6,300 Jews had been brought to Lublin under this program. But the plan was implemented in a haphazard fashion, and in April 1940 was dropped. Lublin, however, remained a center of mass deportation and extermination, serving as the headquarters of Odilo Globocnik, the head of Aktion Reinhard, who was responsible for the operation of the death camps in the eastern part of the General Government. The prewar Jewish community council officially became a Judenrat (Jewish council) on January 25, 1940, with Henryk Bekker as the chairman and Mark Alten as his deputy. In 1940 the Germans stepped up their demands for forced labor, and many Jews were seized on the streets for this purpose. In response, the Jewish council tried to insert Jews into German factories. In the spring of 1941, in preparation for the establishment of a ghetto in Lublin, about 10,000 Jews were expelled to other towns in the area. The Lublin ghetto was formally established at the end of March 1941. Mass deportations from the ghetto started on March 17, 1942. One thousand four hundred Jews were deported daily to the Belzec death camp. By the time the action ended on April 20, thirty thousand Jews had been deported or killed in nearby forests. Following this action, the remaining four thousand Jews were moved to a "small ghetto" in the Lublin suburb of Majdan Tatarski. During the months of September and October 1942, almost all of them were deported to their death at the Majdanek death camp. The last remaining Jews who had been held in the Lublin Fortress, where they worked in small workshops, were killed in July 1944, shortly before the Germans retreated from Lublin.
One of several thousand photographs collected by the Shalom Foundation (Warsaw) in response to an appeal to the Polish public for photographs of Jewish life in Poland before and during the Holocaust. Many of the respondents were Polish Christians, whose families had held on to photos entrusted to them by Jews before their deportation or who had found these photos in abandoned Jewish homes.
See Also "Lublin Main Camp" in Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, Volume 1 Part A.