The Lublin Ghetto was a World War II ghetto created by Nazi Germany in the city of Lublin in occupied Poland, on the Nazi-administered territory of the General Government. Its inhabitants were mostly Polish Jews, although a number of Roma were also present.
The Lublin Ghetto, set up in March 1941, was one of the first Nazi-era ghettos in occupied Poland to be "liquidated". In November 1942 around 30,000 inmates were delivered to their deaths in cattle trucks at the Bełżec extermination camp and additional 4,000 at Majdanek.
The Ghetto, the only one in the Lublin district in 1941, was located around the area of Podzamcze, from the Grodzka Gate (at the time called the "Jewish Gate", as it demarcated the boundary between the Jewish and non-Jewish quarters of the city), along the Lubartowska and Unicka streets, until the boundary of the Franciszkańska Street. Various members of Jewish political parties, such as the Bund, were imprisoned in the Lublin Castle and continued to carry out their activities underground.
At its creation the ghetto imprisoned 34,000 Jews and an unknown number of Roma. Virtually all of them were dead by the war's end. Most of them, about 30,000, were deported to the Belzec extermination camp (some of them through the Piaski ghetto ) between March 17 and April 11, 1942; the German set quota called for 1,400 people per day to be sent to their deaths.
The other 4,000 people were first moved to the Majdan Tatarski ghetto (a second ghetto established in the suburb of Lublin) and then either killed there or sent to the nearby Lublin concentration camp. The last of the Ghetto's former residents still in German captivity were executed at Majdanek and Trawniki camps in the Operation Harvest Festival (German: Aktion Erntefest) on November 3, 1943. At the time of the liquidation of the ghetto, the German propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary "The procedure is pretty barbaric, and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews."
After liquidating the Lublin Ghetto, German authorities employed a forced labor work force of inmates of Majdanek to demolish and dismantle the area of the former ghetto, including in the nearby village of Wieniawa and the Podzamcze district, and in a symbolical event blew up the Maharam's Synagogue (built in the 17th century in honor of Meir Lublin). In that way they erased several centuries of Jewish culture and society in Lublin – the Jewish population in 1939 was about a third of the town's total population.
A few individuals managed to escape the liquidation of the Lublin Ghetto and made their way to the Warsaw Ghetto, bringing the news of the destruction with them. The eyewitness evidence convinced some Warsaw Jews that in fact, the Germans were intent on exterminating the whole of the Jewish population in Poland. However, others, including head of the Warsaw's Judenrat, Adam Czerniaków, at the time dismissed these reports of mass murders as "exaggerations". In total, only 230 Lublin Jews survived the German occupation.