Lublin- Lipowa Street Camp

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Himmler visits Lipowa Street Camp on July 20, 1941. Left to Right: Kruger, Globocnik, Himmler, Kammler, unknown, Wolff and Peiper (HHS Archives)

The work camp at Lipowa Street 7 was established at the beginning of December 1939, on the initiative of the SS and Police Leader for the Lublin District, Odilo Globocnik. The camp at Lipowa Street was in operation for the longest time in the entire Lublin area. At first only civilian workers were employed at the site; however from the beginning of 1940 -1941, Polish Army Prisoners of War, of Jewish descent were forced to work there.

The camp was established on two plots of land at Lipowa Street 7 and 9. Until the outbreak of the Second World War the field at Lipowa Street 9 was a sports field owned by the Academic Sports Union and occasionally it was used for agricultural exhibitions and circus shows. On its southern boundary the camp was delineated with the cemetery wall and on the northern - the tenement houses in Marii Sklodowskiej-Curie Street, which during the occupation was re-named Reinhard Heydrich Strasse.  

At the turn of 1939-1940, the first barracks were constructed, serving as both workshops and lodgings for prisoners. At the beginning of 1941, the camp was handed over to the Deutsche Ausrustungswerke (DAW) - German Armaments Works. The company developed the buildings complex and divided it into two sections: industrial and housing. The first of these were made up of workshops, warehouses, stables, camp administration offices and SS military barracks, whereas the second area housed prisoners. The camp was enclosed with barbed wire and a wooden fence. The housing area was additionally surrounded with several watchtowers.

From its inception the camp in Lipowa Street served several functions. First and foremost, it was a work camp and a penal camp for Polish and Jewish prisoners. It was also used as a gathering place from which Jewish workers were taken to other labour sites. Additionally, it had the function of a transit camp. In the case of some transports arriving at the camp, selections were also carried out, as a result of which only people fit for work were allowed to stay - others were subsequently sent to different camps. In February 1940, a group of approximately 1,200 Jews from Szczecin arrived in Lublin and were lodged in the barracks of the camp under construction. After several days, the Jewish prisoners were relocated to Belzyce, Bychawa, Glusk, and Piaski. Many of the prisoners had to be moved to the Jewish hospital in Lublin, because of their poor health conditions.

Up until the summer of 1940, the camp was managed by SS officers from the Selbschutz  battalions, and its first commandant was SS-Standartenfuhrer Walter Gunst, who held the post for only several weeks. He was succeeded by SS-Oberfuhrer Ludolf von Alvensleben. In February 1940, supervision of the camp was handed over to SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Hermann Dolp who was later transferred to oversee the work labour camps in the Belzec area, who were engaged in building the border defences, known as the Otto Line. He was then replaced for a short period by Franz Bartetzko, who also served with Dolp at Belzec.

Eventually, at the turn of July and August 1940, SS-Untersturmfuhrer Horst Riedel was appointed to the post of camp commandant. Contrary to his predecessors, Riedel originally worked for the Lublin District SS and Police Leaders Headquarters, which allowed Odilo Globocnik to gain full control of the camp. This in turn, became one of the noteworthy landmarks on the road to establishing the economic empire controlled by Globocnik. Soon deemed incompetent Horst Riedel was removed from his position and SS-Untersturmfuhrer Wolfgang Mohwinkel was named the new commandant and the head of DAW.

Initially, sentry duties were carried out by the Selbschutz battalions, and later also the SS Sonderbatalion, which was made up of criminals and repeat offenders under the command of Oskar Dirlewanger. Sentry duties were also performed by Kommando Klus, which was made up of former SS servicemen. By the end of 1941, SS-officers from the Lublin Concentration Camp were also employed as camp guards, who would later be substituted by Trawnikimanner wachmen from the SS Training camp in Trawniki during the summer of 1942.

Up until the spring of 1942, jurisdictional disputes arose between Globocnik and the commandant of the Lublin Concentration Camp Karl Otto Koch. These mainly concerned under whose control the Lipowa Street camp should be placed. The supervision of the Lublin Concentration Camp included providing squads of guards, as well as delegating SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer's Hermann Hackmann and Hermann Stroink to oversee the activities of the commandant of the labour camp. At the beginning of June 1942, the head of the DAW Company, Karl May, consigned full control of the Lipowa Street Camp to Odilo Globocnik. 

The construction of the Lipowa Street camp commenced at the beginning of December 1939, employing Jews who lived in Lublin, to this particular task. On December 4th, 1939, the German authorities gathered all males aged between 18 and 55 in the square at Peowiakow Street 12 and ordered them to register for work. The men were employed on the building site of the future camp, working on the construction of the first barracks. A settlement with the German authorities guaranteed that the Jewish Labour Office would supply a daily quota of 300 -400 Jews  to serve as the general workforce. By the end of January 1940, however, the German authorities demanded an increased quota of 1,000 forced labourers. The Jewish Religious Community Board (ZZGW) issued summons for more than 14,000 Jews. Workers qualified for the task were obligated to work at least once a week.

For the first few months of their labours, Jewish workers were allowed to return to their homes after completing their tasks. However, in the summer of 1940, the camp authorities decided to confine them to barracks to stop Jews avoiding work. Numerous men attempted to send in substitute workers, including 'juveniles.' Shunning work soon became common practice; however, the German authorities were in an ever increasing need for manpower. To enforce attendance at work, the authorities introduced a two-day compulsive work period and subsequently decided to lodge groups of workers on site, for several days at a time. Regular round-ups were yet another form of repression. High work avoidance, however, resulted from extremely low wages, which in no way allowed Jewish men to provide for their families. Being incarcerated in the camp also meant suffering severe brutality from the German guards.

On July 17, 1940, Globocnik issued a decree ordering 1,000 Jews to be housed permanently on the camp's premises. As a consequence, an urgent appeal printed by the Judenrat was pasted on the walls of the Jewish quarter. It called for the ending of the malpractice for avoiding work duty, which would now be punished with sanctions directed at the worker's families. The message was as follows:

'If you miss another day's work, if you refuse to come to work EVERY DAY ON TIME in required numbers to the Work Camp at Lipowa Street 7, not only will you yourselves be punished severely, but also the lives of your mothers, wives and children will be put in jeopardy.'

On September 26, 1940, the Judenrat issued another announcement, explicitly stating the consequences of avoiding obligatory work duty by publishing the names of Jews caught out of work: Berek Landau, Boruch Feldman, Szloma Debowski, Anczel Adler, and Jakub Finkelsztejn were sent to the camp at Lipowa for several weeks.

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Lublin - Site of the former Lipowa Camp Site -July 2004 - (Chris Webb Private Archive)

At the beginning of November 1940, due to the worsening weather conditions, the camp authorities ordered Lublin's Jewish citizens to provide warm winter clothing for the workmen employed in the camp. If the Jews refused to obey the order, the German authorities would simply confiscate the clothing themselves. This announcement was pasted on walls within the Jewish quarter, and it listed the items of clothing which should be provided by the Jews: jackets, trousers, boots, socks, shirts, long-johns, jumpers, as well as caps and hats. 

In the initial stages after the establishment of the camp, Jewish forced labourers were employed on the section of the camp where new barracks were being constructed, which would later serve as workshops for iron-workers, shoemakers, tailors, and leather-workers. As early as December 1939, the following craftsmen were sent to the premises of the camp under construction: tinsmiths, carpenters, wire-men, carters, tailors, painters, builders, woodworkers, shoemakers, iron-workers and stove-fitters. Later the camp was also enlarged to manufacture tar-paper  and crates, as well as a printing-house and garages for servicing cars and fixing radio receivers. Jewish workers not otherwise employed in factories or on the construction work they were assigned to clearing snow, digging ditches, as well as cleaning the streets. They were often made to perform pointless tasks, shoveling snow or moving wood from one place to another, activities during which the individuals concerned were often beaten or harassed.

By the beginning of 1940, the camp was reorganised to admit Jewish Prisoners of War, brought to Lublin from German Prisoner of War camps located within the territory of the Reich. At this time many of the Jewish civilian workers were allowed to return to their homes. The first Jewish Prisoners of War were sent to Lublin in mid-February 1940. In the period between February and May 1940, 3224 Prisoners of War were brought to the Lipowa Street camp from camps in the Reich. At the same time 112 civilian workers were also employed at the work camp, most of whom soon acquired permission to relocate to the Jewish quarter or move back to their towns of origin. For the next several months the work force consisted mainly of Jews from the Lublin District, Radom and Warsaw, whose numbers varied but would periodically exceed that of 1,200.

At the turn of 1941, the character of the camp in Lipowa Street was modified and it became predominantly a site of confinement for Jewish Prisoners of War. Most of the civilian workers were dispensed with. At the beginning of January 1941, the camp held 518 Prisoners of War, 15 Jewish civilian workers and 192 Poles, whose number was to rise slightly later on. At the turn of February 2,120 Prisoners of War brought from Prisoner of War camps were registered at Lipowa Street 7 Camp. Polish inmates were most probably held there as hostages, imprisoned for failing to provide the German authorities with the obligatory quotas of food grain or other offences committed against the occupying forces. The Poles were isolated from the Jewish prisoners and kept in separate barracks. Their release was dependent on settling the arrears of grain by their families. 

In the course of the following few months only single Prisoners of War or other small groups of people were admitted to the camp - all of which arrived from various Prisoner of War camps. During  March 1941, 11 Prisoners of War were admitted to the camp and in September. It is quite probable that in October 1941, a group of Soviet Prisoners of War was also imprisoned in the Lipowa Street camp. Among them were craftsmen brought from the Prisoner of War camp in Chelm, a fact which is mentioned by Roman Fiszer:

'In October 1941, a group of about 100 Prisoners of War arrived consisting of Jews, Ukrainians and Russians. They were meant to be professional workers, selected from the Soviet Prisoner of War camp in Chelm, which was destined for liquidation. Very few craftsmen were sent to us. Captives sent to our camp were utterly exhausted physically and every day several of them died'.

Up until November 1943, the Prisoner of War group was the most numerous one in the camp. Small groups of workmen from the local ghetto were also sent by convoys to the camp, together with Jews selected from transports passing through Lublin. Most Prisoners of War arrived from the area of the Eastern borderlands, which had been incorporated into the territory of the Soviet Union.

Ever since the camp was established, living conditions on its premises were very poor. Prisoners of War were housed in 5 barracks whose state was below proper technical standards. Until mid-February 1941, Jews held in the camp were provided for by the Lublin Judenrat who financed their food, medical care and personal hygiene. Two small infirmaries were established for them with 20 beds in all. Medical care covered the treatment of general illnesses and infectious skin diseases. Medical check-ups for inmates were provided by a visiting Jewish doctor. Seriously ill prisoners were sent to Jewish and Polish hospitals.

The camp lacked basic sanitary facilities and for this reason prisoners had to be transported to public baths. These outings were dependent on the approval of the camp commandant. The Judenrat arranged for a kitchen on the premises of the camp where inmates were provided with hot meals and 70 dag of bread per person. In the morning and at noon prisoners were given soup and in the evening, sweet coffee. Such poor provisioning was to some extent supplemented with parcels sent by individual families, which stopped arriving after the outbreak of the German-Soviet conflict. During May and June 1941, 2,550 and 2,316 parcels respectively were sent to the camp and only 335 in August 1941. The entire correspondence, postal orders and parcels were delivered by the Postal Department operating at the Judenrat. Poor provisioning forced prisoners employed outside the camp to attempt to smuggle food inside. Incidents of stealing from the camp warehouses, when detected, were punished by death.

Poor working, sanitary and provisioning conditions resulted in the deterioration of the camp inmates health. In December 1941, an epidemic of typhus swept through the camp. The contagion was spread by Jewish Prisoners of War employed on the premises of Lublin Concentration Camp where they contracted it from Soviet prisoners. In the face of such a potential threat, no more groups of prisoners were sent to work in the Lublin Concentration Camp which however, did not suppress the spreading of the epidemic. A makeshift infirmary for the inmates of Lipowa Street was arranged in the Maharsal Synagogue. An estimated 500 prisoners fell ill at that time, and at least several dozen of them died as a consequence.

Deteriorating relations with the Lublin Judenrat resulted in the aggravation of the living conditions within the Lipowa Street camp. This, in turn, gave rise to the establishment of the prisoner council, which was meant to represent inmates and bring their needs to the attention of the camp authorities. The council was headed by a fiduciary, commonly known as the 'commander.' The position was first held by Wolf Kraut and then subsequently by Herman Brandel and Roman Fiszer. The fiduciary supervised groups of working commando's. Establishing the council was additionally meant as a means of integrating prisoners and introducing military discipline. This gave hope for survival in the rough conditions. The camp authorities, however, tried hard to break through the unity of the prisoners, by means of including civilians into their groups or introducing collective forms of legal liability in cases of misdemeanor and instances of escapes from the camp.

Inmates of the camp were given various tasks to perform, including work outside the Lipowa Street camp boundaries. Having released most of the Jewish civilian workers, the camp authorities employed Prisoners of War at the camp's building site, as well as the craftsmen workshops. Prisoners were given assignments by the camp authorities, but they also worked in small factories. In addition, several hundred of them were employed by the Wehrmacht to unload cargo trains, or work at staff car parks and military hospitals. In October 1941, several hundred Prisoners of War were also sent to work on the newly established Lublin Concentration Camp. Here the men were given tasks at the construction site, as well as burying the bodies of Soviet prisoners. A group of inmates from the Lipowa Street camp were also employed at the construction work at the Alter Flugplatz camp, and after the commencement of Aktion Reinhardt, they had to unload and sort the goods brought directly from the death camps.

Prisoners, who were qualified craftsmen worked for 10 hours a day on weekdays and were entitled to two breaks for breakfast and lunch. On Saturday's and Sunday's prisoners had to work for 6 hours a day and had one meal break. Prisoners without any recognised skills had a lower status and often had to work until late in the evenings - until 9 pm or 10 pm. All the inmates worked at an extremely fast pace under constantly supervised by SS officers, who frequently abused them. The most cruel SS officers were Dolp, Dornberger and Hausberg.

Additionally, selections were carried out systematically to pick out prisoners who were ill or unfit to work. Some selections were aimed at inmates deemed as dispensable, as well as children. One example of this kind of selection was the general assembly called for in November 1942, the victims of which, among others, Jakub Blank and his six-year old son.


Lipowa Street Buildings - mid 1985 (Artur Hojan)

Escape attempts from the Lipowa Street camp were not always successful, prisoners tried to escape because of the living conditions at Lipowa 7, as well as the brutality of the camp regime. At the same time, such attempts resulted in repressions directed against other prisoners. Frequently collective liability would be applied in the form of corporal punishment and public executions. Fear of sanctions gave rise to incidents of lynching among prisoners, as a means of suppressing further escapes.

The first major breakout took place at the beginning of February 1941, when over a dozen Jewish prisoners managed to escape. A very brutal punitive roll-call was organised as a form of retaliation. On a bitterly cold night between the 3rd and 4th of February, all the Jewish inmates were led outside and beaten savagely. As a consequence many of the Jewish prisoners were seriously injured. Nevertheless, despite such harsh forms of repression, incidents of escape attempts continued to take place.

In the spring of 1942, news of the mass extermination of the Jewish community reached the camp and gave rise to widespread resistance designed in order to prepare the inmates for a potential revolt, leading to a mass break-out. Prisoners were trying to get hold of weapons and ammunition. They also attempted to contact with the Polish underground movement. Such attempts resulted in a collaboration with the Polish Workers Party (PPR), thanks to which on October 28th 1942, forty Prisoners of War led by Kaganowicz managed to escape.

Although a mass revolt had been planned, it never came to fruition, mainly due to the risk of exposure. Additionally, poor logistics meant that attempts at moving prisoners out of the camp and finding a hiding place for them were often completely unfeasible. Another crucial reason for discontinuing any further preparations for a revolt was the fact that one of the leaders and organisers of conspiracy within the camp, Roman Fiszer, escaped himself during March 1943.

In the autumn of 1942, the number of break-outs increased. For example, during one escape attempts, 30 prisoners working in the military hospital in Warszawska Avenue managed to make a run for it. In the course of this daring flight, prisoners succeeded in stealing weapons from a warehouse and left the hospital grounds in a stolen car. They managed to hide in the Garbow Forest, where they formed a partisan group. Other break-outs soon followed resulting in approximately 40 prisoners to break free. Many of them sought shelter in the nearby forests, either joining existing partisan groups or forming new ones.

The growing number of escapes resulted in the permanent confinement of all Jews previously employed outside of the camp in Lipowa Street. Unfortunately, they were later sent with the remaining prisoners to the Lublin Concentration camp. Whilst being marched towards the Lublin Concentration camp, the men attempted to escape, which resulted in the deaths of many. Some of the prisoners managed to run away but failing to find any shelter - returned to the Lipowa Street camp. Most of the remaining men reached the Lublin Concentration camp, but their subsequent fate remains unknown.

Many fugitives tried to take refuge in forests which, as it turned out, did not always prove a safe hide-away. Partisan groups in the woods, as well as individual gangs of robbers often murdered Jews trying to seek shelter there. One tragic of this kind took place in 1943, near the village of Rudka, situated in the Krasnik area. A group of 40 Jewish Prisoners of War, who managed to escape from the Lipowa Street 7 camp were hiding in the forest bunkers, were then murdered by the members of a nationalist organisation.

Despite many forms of repression, breakouts did not cease in 1943. Apart from the above -mentioned Roman Fiszer, Jozef Cynowiec also managed to escape from the camp, followed by a group of 10 prisoners who made their escape from the camp in June whilst employed at the construction of a bridge in Pawia Street. The last organised breakout most probably took place on October 9th, 1943, and this was sparked by the discovery of weapons, by the SS guards on camps grounds.

The relations between the Prisoners of War and the local Jewish community was filled with tension from the very beginning. In February 1940, the Judenrat in Lublin reused to take custody of 1,367 Prisoners of War brought from the stalags of the Third Reich. This decision affected the fate of nearly 500 men, many of whom were murdered by the Nazis on their way to Biala Podlaska. The tragic event was described by Berek Kawe:

'In February 1940, in the most biting, freezing cold, Germans brought Jewish captives who were to be handed in to the Judenrat which supposedly would not accept the duty of providing for them. So then the Germans rushed them all -barefoot, ragged and hungry - to Biala Podlaska. The Germans rode horses and the Jews had to follow them. Those of them who could not keep up were shot. The road was covered with corpses.'

The Judenrat, learning from the awful consequences of its mistake, decided to provide for the prisoners moved to the camp at Lipowa Street 7, as well as those released from it. By the end of February 1940, a special department for assisting captives and deportees was established which registered Prisoners of War, as well as sought to release them. One of the conditions, however, was to provide prisoners with regular clothes as a substitute for their uniforms. The department organised a collection of clothes among local Jews and managed to obtain 1,700 full sets of clothing. Simultaneously, the Judenrat strove to win the sympathy of the local Jewish community, whose engagement resulted in finding lodgings for prisoners in private apartments and shelters. Money was also collected to help prisoners finance their journeys back to their homes.

It must be pointed out that travel was only possible within the territory of the Generalgouvernement. A special information point was set up allowing people to make contact with their families in the form of 'wall letters' containing messages from relatives which were put up inside the building. What is more, the Work Office operating at the Judenrat offered jobs on preferential terms to 459 Prisoners of War. However, the regular daily wage was only 5 zlotys and in the case of Jewish workmen it could be as low as 4 zlotys.


Lipowa Street Camp boundary by the Cemetery - July 2004 (Chris Webb Private Archive)

The strained relations between the prisoners and the local community resulted also from the Jewish perception that the captives were a privileged group of people. These perceptions were influenced by many factors, like the fact the prisoners wore unmarked uniforms - without the Star of David armbands, and that they did not have to remove their hats when passing German soldiers.

The mutual relations deteriorated even further when the Prisoners of War from the Lipowa Street camp took part in a round-up organised in mid-December 1941, in the area of the Jewish ghetto. As a result of a typhus epidemic, which was ravaging the Lublin Concentration Camp, the commandant of the Lipowa Street camp ordered the immediate withdrawal of the Prisoners of War employed in the Lublin Concentration Camp.

At the same time, the Lublin Concentration Camp administration demanded substitutes to be found. As a consequence, on the night of 11th and 12th December 1941, prisoners took part in a brutal round-up which resulted in 320 Jews being taken from the ghetto. Initially, they were housed at the Lipowa Street work camp. Afterwards, 170 people were released and the remainder were sent to the Lublin Concentration Camp. By the end of 1941, most of them had died as a result of the extremely bad living conditions in the camp. Only 17 prisoners survived to be later liberated. At the turn of December and January, captives were additionally employed in the collection of winter clothing, such as fur coats, jackets etc.

After the liquidation of the residual ghetto in Majdan Tatarski, which took place on November 9th, 1942, a group of prisoners were sent to tidy up and search the abandoned area. They performed these tasks together with Polish prisoners held at the Lublin Castle prison. These groups were supervised by wachmen from the SS Training camp at Trawniki.

The tension between the inhabitants of the ghetto and the prisoners notwithstanding, there were circumstances under which people managed to co-operate - one example being the establishment of an infirmary within the boundaries of the ghetto for those captives who had contracted typhus fever. Another particular way of maintaining mutual relations came in the form of -inter-marriage. The exact number of these instances of inter-marriage is not known. However, one instance of this type of union was that of Roman Fiszer, the resistance movement leader from the Lipowa Street camp and Cipora Trachtenberg. Several survivors from the Alte Flugplatz camp also recall an exuberant wedding reception of a Jewish Prisoner of War Friede Alexander.

In the early hours of the morning on November 3rd 1943, the Lipowa Street labour camp was surrounded by SS forces. Prisoners were searched, arranged in columns and marched out of the camp. The operation came as a surprise, as it was carried out with much haste, the inmates had little chance to offer any resistance, despite the weapons they had gathered.

During the march, instances of escapes were noted, but unfortunately most ended in failure. The only successful breakout took place in Fabryczna Street, but most fugitives were soon discovered and shot by the Nazis. The bodies of the murdered prisoners were collected without delay and taken by cart to the Lublin Concentration Camp. As for the rest nearly 2,500 inmates were also taken to the Lublin Concentration Camp.

They were gathered together in Feld V, from which they were rushed directly to the execution site. These tragic events have been captured poignantly by Jozef Kalisman in a letter addressed to his wife:

' Dearest, please do not despair, what's done is done, your worries are futile, just live and be happy. The world is a beautiful place and the war will soon be over - you will be a free and independent woman, you'll find a boyfriend and forget about me. Honestly, I wish I could finally end this life, for there is no use in these several spared moments and hours. I cant look at all this anymore and have no more strength for it.'

SS-officers selected 300 people, who were subsequently forced to burn the bodies of the mass of Jewish workers who were murdered that day, in what was called 'Aktion Erntefest' or who were selected to carry out the same gruesome task at the Poniatowa Labour Camp, which was also liquidated as part of the same operation. Some of them were also sent to the Borki Forest, in the vicinity of Chelm, where they were employed in removing the traces of other atrocities. On the night of the 23rd and 24th of February 1944, 33 out of 61 prisoners managed to break free, while the rest of the group was executed. Most of the fugitives were later captured and only a few survived to see the end of the war. In mid-April 1944, some of the prisoners still kept alive to hide the evidence of mass murder at the Lublin Concentration Camp were relocated to the Lublin Castle prison. The fate of this group is unknown.

As a result of the Aktion Erntefest' massacre of the Jewish workforce, the camp was left devoid of workers. In effect, the production had to be halted, but previous contracts were still binding. Therefore the DAW Company had to be re-organised throughout the GeneralGouvernement. In Lublin only the workshops at Lipowa Street 7 were reactivated and the camp was designated a sub-camp of the Lublin Concentration Camp.

It was designed to serve as a work place for 250 skilled craftsmen and 1,500 unskilled workers. The first transports of prisoners for the reactivated camp were sent at the end of January 1944 from the concentration camps of Buchenwald, Dachau and Sachsenhausen. Approximately 500 individuals were brought in at that time, on whom quarantine was imposed in the Lublin Concentration Camp. Afterwards, prisoners, among them many French nationals, were relocated to the labour camp at Lipowa Street 7. On February 1st 1944, camp production officially re-started. The production took the form of manufactured wooden and metal items, as well as baskets for grenades. Living conditions in the camp were relatively good. Prisoners were allowed to receive mail, and were guaranteed a limited number of work hours. SS-officers were said to have treated the prisoners in a less brutal way.

The evacuation of the camp, due to the approaching Red Army, commenced on March 31st 1944. As a consequence 155 prisoners were relocated to the Lublin Concentration Camp. Several days later the workshops were dismantled and subsequently transferred to the Lublin Concentration Camp. By the end of April another 100 prisoners were relocated to the Lublin Concentration Camp and on June 15th and July 13, several dozen men were sent to the sawmill in Pulawy. On July 22, 1944, the last Prisoner of War group was sent to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where they arrived on July 28th, 1944.

German forces retreating from Lublin in July 1944, did not manage to destroy all the Lipowa Street camp facilities. After the end of the Second World War the surviving buildings were initially used by the Internal Security Corps and afterwards by the Polish Army. When the military unit was closed during the 1960's, the barracks were used for commercial purposes. At the beginning of the 1990's some of them were destroyed in a fire and the remaining ones were demolished.

In 2007, a shopping centre - Plaza - was constructed on the former camp site. A year later, a memorial plaque was placed on the wall of the building to commemorate the victims of the camp. It reads as follows:

'On the site in the years 1939 -1943 was situated a German SS Labour Camp for Jewish craftsmen brought from different ghettos, as well as several thousand Prisoners of War - Jewish soldiers serving in the Polish Army. A few hundred prisoners perished in the camp. On November 3rd 1943, prisoners from the camp were murdered by the Germans in a mass execution at the concentration camp in Majdanek. From January to July 1944, a branch of the Majdanek concentration camp was located here and some 700 prisoners of various nationalities from all over Europe were incarcerated in the camp for forced labour.'

Sources online resource

Thanks to Hans Heideweg

Photographs - HHS Archives, Chris Webb Private Archive, Artur Hojan

Holocaust Historical Society October 12, 2020