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Jewish Families of Lubartow

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LUBARTWORLD [] The Lubartworld project combines a transnational history perspective with a microhistorical methodology by reconstructing the individual trajectories of each and every Jewish inhabitant from the Polish village of Lubartów between the early 1920s and the early 1950s, whether they emigrated or stayed behind, and whether they were exterminated or survived the Holocaust.

At the Lubartworld website, The French translation of the 1947 Yizkhor book The Destriction of Lubartow is available to read and download: [] and the original in yiddish [] is also available at the Yiddish Book Center website and the New York Public Library website.

The Lubartow 1932 population movement register, a review. And an explanation on how the team at Lubartworld went about creating their research database. And what information did the government collect on the Lubartow residents.


Search your Lubartow Jewish families in birth, marriage and death record indices from Lubartow Jewish registers on [], register for free and research, or become a supporting member with a membership donation to help fund the work. Jewish Records Indexing - Poland's Mission Statement: JRI-Poland is a collective of global volunteers with a common goal – seeking out a shared history and safeguarding it. We believe that the details in records and the stories they tell about our ancestors must be accessible in a form that will remain available forever. To serve this mission, we continue to build the largest database of Jewish vital and other records online. We are able to do this because of the commitment and support of hundreds of volunteers and donors. We are also fortunate for generations of town authorities and state archivists in Poland who for more than 200 years diligently preserved the treasures that record our family history. By contributing to our mission, whether as a volunteer, partner, or donor, you join us in honoring the memory of our ancestors. JRI-Poland is an independent non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.


Lublin Roots: Lublin Region's Forum of Independent Genealogists, search the Jewish register indices for Lubartow, Firlej, Kamionka, and Ostrow Lubelski for Lubartow Jewish families []


LUBARTOW history during the Shoah (From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CAMPS AND GHETTOS, 1933–1945, VOLUME II - Ghettos in German-Occupied Eastern Europe – pages 672-674)

Pre-1939: Lubartów (Yiddish: Levertov), town, Lubartów powiat, Lublin województwo, Poland; 1939–1944: Lubartow, Kreis Lublin-Land, Distrikt Lublin, Generalgouvernement; post-1998: Lubartów, Lublin województwo, Poland

Lubartów is located about 24 kilometers (15 miles) north of Lublin. In 1939, 3,411 Jews were residing in Lubartów. In total, there were 8,121 persons inhabiting the town.1

The Germans invaded Lubartów on September 19, 1939. The majority of the Jews did not evacuate but remained there waiting vainly for the Soviet army to arrive. Only a small number of Jews escaped from Lubartów before the Nazi occupation began.

From the start of the occupation, German forces plundered Jewish shops. They forcibly cut off the beards and side-locks (payot) of religious Jews on the streets. At first soldiers of the Wehrmacht on an individual basis took these actions. But on October 12, 1939, German soldiers carried out an organized mass Aktion. The Germans ordered all the Jews of Lubartów to assemble at the first marketplace square (Rynek I). The soldiers then surrounded the Jews and held them captive. The Jews remained in this state all day long, while at the same time other German soldiers plundered their homes and shops, taking anything of value. During this Aktion, many Jewish houses were demolished.2

Shortly after this mass looting, another act of persecution took place, which would have an even greater effect. One source recounts that this took place on October 20, 1939, while another notes the date as sometime in early November. The local German authorities ordered most of the Jews of Lubartów to leave the town. After the forced removal, only 818 Jews were left in Lubartów. They were assigned to different forms of labor for the Germans in the town. Meanwhile, 850 persons were forcibly resettled to Ostrów (Lubelski), 634 were taken to Parczew, and small groups were brought to Kamionka (Lubartów powiat) and Firlej. All of these places were not far from Lubartów. The Jews of Lubartów remained in these places until September 1940, although some bribed their German captives and thereby succeeded in escaping and returning to their hometown. The details of how this happened are not known, but it may have been a local initiative by the German authorities.3 Some Jews attempted to return to Lubartów illegally, but the German police checked documents frequently. In the best case, persons in Lubartów illegally were simply sent back to where they had come from. In the worst case, they were arrested and sent to prison at the castle (zamek) in Lublin.4

For those Jews who remained in Lubartów, at the start of 1940 a Jewish Council (Judenrat) was established. Mosze Joel Edelman was appointed as its chairman, and Szlomo Ber Ciesla was his deputy. The Germans also named other members of the Judenrat, including Moszek Srul Danemark, Jakub Lichtenfeld, Szlomo Rubinstein, Menasze Kassman, Srul Reinsilber, Ber Reichnudel, Pinkwas Duman, Szyja Suchowolski, and Chil Weinberg.5 The Judenrat of Lubartów was reorganized several times. For instance, in November 1941 Dawid Peretz resigned as vice-chairman.6 In 1940, an 11-person Jewish police force was established. In September 1940, the Kreishauptmann in Janów Lubelski, Winterfeld, was assigned to Kreis Krasnystaw and replaced by Fritz Schmiege. In consequence, about half of the Jewish families expelled from Lubartów were able to return to their native town. The Judenrat started a kitchen to provide hot meals to the Jewish residents, which was supported by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) until 1941. It served not only the local poor but also many refugees and evacuees whom the Germans had resettled in Lubartów in 1940 and 1941.

On December 16, 1940, more than 1,000 additional Jews arrived in Lubartów from Mława in Regierungsbezirk Zichenau. A visit by an official of the Jewish Social Self-Help ( JSS), Naftali Birnheck, in late December, noted the existence of an open ghetto in Lubartów at this time: This small town presently counts 350 Jewish families. At the beginning of the war, 80 percent of the Jewish population was evacuated and their apartments in part occupied. After two months, 170 families managed to return, some legally, a part are here illegally. None of the re-emigrants secured their apartments and they are living in overcrowded streets designated as the Jewish quarter [or ghetto, i.e., dzielnica zydowska]. To this place [meaning the ghetto] have been sent 1,028 deportees from Mława.7

In March 1941, a few hundred Jews were resettled from Lublin to Lubartów.8 Lubartów was one of the first places in the Lublin region from which the Germans started to deport the Jews in 1942. In April 1942, 250 Jews were removed from Lubartów and resettled in Kamionka, Ostrów, and Firlej. It is unclear if this happened before or after the first mass deportation Aktion.9

The first deportation Aktion against the Jewish population began on April 9, 1942. The local German Gendarmerie seized all the Jews and brought them to a synagogue, where the process of selection began. Some Jews were allowed to remain in Lubartów to carry out work for the Germans. The German authorities selected 814 people for transport and sent them to the railway station. The Germans loaded them onto wagons all through the night and sent them to the extermination camp in Bełzec.10

Three days later, large groups of Slovak Jews started to arrive in Lubartów. On April 13, 1942, 900 persons arrived; on April 15, 1942, 680 persons arrived; and on May 7, 1942, 841 persons arrived, bringing the total to 2,421 Slovak Jews.11 Initially they were made to live in the synagogue and a military barracks, essentially a stables built by the Germans on the grounds of the Jewish cemetery. As one witness recalls: They differed from our Jews. They did not wear traditional headgear and yarmulkes. Their women had wavy hair and instead of wigs, wore hats. They were dressed in fashionable, woolen costumes and their husbands in suits. They did not put on armbands with the blue star, but they had stars made from yellow material on their breasts. Despite being forced to sleep in the dirty straw left by the horses, every morning they went from the barrack clean and neat. The Poles from Lubartów as well as the local Jews were very interested in them. And, the Jewish policemen, armed with sticks and quite often brutal toward the Lubartów Jews, lost self-assurance when meeting with the Slovak Jews. The inhabitants of the barrack on Legiony Street [Jews from Slovakia] were not in Lubartów for very long. Suddenly they disappeared.12 After their arrival, the Slovak Jews were resettled again from Lubartów to other nearby places, mainly to Firlej and Ostrów.

Because Jews could not leave Lubartów to obtain food, hunger quickly ensued. The Germans organized teams to perform heavy labor within the town. This went on until October 1942, when another general resettlement of the Jews of Lubartów was ordered. This second cleansing operation took place on October 11, 1942. The Jews from Kamionka, Firlej, Ostrów, and Tarło were brought to Lubartów. In total there were about 6,000 or 7,000 Jews, counting the ones already in Lubartów. According to one account, “[T]he people stood four abreast on Lublin Street and were taken to be loaded onto the train. Then the Jews, arranged like a troop of soldiers, were driven from the first zone of the marketplace [Rynek I] to the railway station. Those people were compressed into freight cars, in which they could not breathe. When the wagons were full, the Germans shot anyone left stranded on the platform.”13 The transport then brought the Jews to the extermination camp in Treblinka.14 During this mass “resettlement” the Germans continued with the mass murder of any Jews who remained in their homes or on the streets of Lubartów. Some 300 unfortunate people, including the elderly and children, were shot on the grounds of the new Jewish cemetery. The Jews who were shot on the streets and by the railway platform were also taken to the cemetery and buried in a mass grave. The Jewish Police and sanitation workers dug the graves. Several days later, in spite of German guarantees that there would be no more Aktions, another several hundred Jews were deported to the ghetto in Piaski Luterskie and taken from there to the extermination camp in Sobibór. The members of the Judenrat in Lubartów were also resettled into the ghetto in Łeczna.15

In the town of Lubartów, a few hundred Jewish craftsmen initially were spared. They worked for the local Gendarmerie. On January 29, 1943, they were shot at the new Jewish cemetery in Lubartów.16

Along with the annihilation of the Jewish community, the Germans destroyed the buildings and all traces of Jewish presence. The synagogue was converted into a stable. The cemeteries were devastated. The old Jewish cemetery in the center of the city became a gallows, where Germans carried out public executions of Jews from Kamionka and other places. The tombstones from both cemeteries were taken to be sorted for building purposes in the school on Cicha Street, where Wehrmacht soldiers were stationed.17

From 3,411 in 1939, only 40 Jews from Lubartów survived the Nazi occupation. They did so mainly by hiding in the villages around the town. In the town itself, two Polish families saved the lives of 5 Jews, together with her father and uncle, Chaja Weberman was hidden in Lubartów by a farmer, Adam Butrin.18 “For two years we wore the same clothes. When liberation came in the summer of 1944, Butrin joyously told us the good news. Afterwards he returned and announced sadly, the Russians hate Jews too," she recalled.

In 1945, other Jewish survivors returned from the Soviet Union – because of anti-semitic hostility in Lubartów, virtually all of the survivors emigrated in the years 1945-1946. Only one Jew stayed in Lubartów and died there at the beginning of 1990.

SOURCES Information on the fate of the Jews of Lubartów can be found in the yizkor book, Barukh Tshubinski, ed., Hurben Levertov: A matseyve Levertov un Levertover kdoyshim (Paris: fun di fraynt fun Levertov, 1947). Further information can be found in an article by J. Kiełbon, “Martyrologia ludnosci Lubartowa w latach okupacji hitlerowskiej,” in Lubartów i ziemia lubartowska (Lubartów: Lubartowskie Towarzystwo Regionalne, 1993), and in Robert Kuwałek and P. Sygowski, “Z dziejów społecznosci Zydowskiej w Lubartowie,” in Lubartów i ziemia lubartowska (Lubartów: Lubartowskie Towarzystwo Regionalne, 2000). A number of articles, including accounts by Polish witnesses who lived in Lubartów during the occupation, have also been published since 1990 in the local daily press in Lubartów. Relevant documentation on the fate of the Jews of Lubartów under Nazi occupation can be found in the following archives: APL (e.g., GDL; and Kreishauptmannschaft Lublin-Land); AYIH (211/646 [ JSS]); USHMM (e.g., Acc.1997.A.0124 [ JSS]; RG-15.076M; RG-50.030*0185); and YVA.

TEXT NOTES SOURCES 1. Kiełbon, “Martyrologia,” p. 224. 2. Tshubinski, Hurben Levertov, p. 7. 3. Ibid., pp. 7–8; Kiełbon, “Martyrologia,” p. 224. 4. APL, Polizei Batallion Zamosc, 104. 5. Ibid., Kreishauptmannschaft Lublin-Land, 111, p. 4. This list of Judenrat members is from November 1941. 6. Ibid. 7. USHMM, Acc.1997.A.0124 ( JSS), 211/646, p. 47. 8. Kuwałek and Sygowski, “Z dziejów społecznosci,” pp. 81–82. 9. Ibid. 10. Tshubinski, Hurben Levertov, p. 7; Kuwałek and Sygowski, “Z dziejów społecznosci,” p. 82. 11. APL, Gouverneur des Distrikts Lublin (GDL), 749, 893; Kreishauptmannschaft Lublin-Land, 141, pp. 114, 137. 12. M. Derecki, “Kromka chleba,” Gazeta Lubelska, April 23, 1993, p. 5; translation cited as in Robert Kuwałek, “Lubartow Ghetto,” on Web site. 13. Tshubinski, Hurben Levertov, p. 34. 14. Chiel M. Rajchman survived from this transport and the extermination camp in Treblinka. He was deported from Ostrów via Lubartów to Treblinka. See his oral history interview: USHMM, RG-50.030*0185. 15. On the mass shootings at the new Jewish cemetery in Lubartów, see M. Danielkiewicz, “Oczy pełne łez,” Dziennik Lubelski, July 30, 1990, p. 5; Derecki, “Kromka chleba”; on the fate of the Jews in the town after the deportation, see Tshubinski, Hurben Levertov, pp. 7–8. 16. Tshubinski, Hurben Levertov, p. 8. 17. Testimonies of Halina Domanska and Janina Stel- maszenko in the private collection of Paweł Sygowski. 18. In Lubartów, in the shelter prepared by the Czekanski family, Josef Honigsblum and his wife Bluma survived. The Sienkiewicz family rescued Debora Erlich and her five-year-old son Michał and her sister-in-law Noemi Erlich. Others were rescued by Polish families in neighboring villages or survived in hiding places in the forests; see Tshubinski, Hurben Levertov, pp. 8–9.