LUBLIN , city in E. Poland, center of the district of the same name. In the 16th and 17th centuries Lublin was famous for its fairs (see Market Days and *Fairs). Annexed by Austria in 1795, it was incorporated in Russian Poland in 1815. From 1918 to 1939 it was in Poland and from 1939 to 1945 under German occupation; after World War ii it was again in Poland.
Jews were first mentioned as transients in Lublin in 1316. The city denied Jews the right to settle there on the basis of its privilege de non tolerandis Judaeis. In 1336 King Casimir iii permitted them to settle on land adjacent to the city, later known as Piaski Żydowskie ("Jewish sands"). Josko (Joseph) Sheinowicz, a rich tax-farmer for southeast Poland, built a house in Lublin in 1500. Later King Sigismund i permitted Jews to found a settlement in the vicinity of the castle, afterward known as Podzamcze. In the second half of the 16th century the community was given land for its institutions and for a cemetery. The Jews were allowed to set up movable stalls for shops but not to erect buildings. In 1602 there were 2,000 Jews in Lublin. The population figures did not change greatly until the second half of the 18th century; in 1787 there were 4,321 Jews in the city. Tension with the citizenry continued, largely centered around the right of the Jews to live within the city walls. Jews settled mainly in houses belonging to clergymen and feudal lords, who were outside the jurisdiction of the city council, paying them substantial sums for the privilege. They were very active at the Lublin fairs, engaged in local trade, and some were tailors, furriers, manufacturers of brushes, brewers, and bakers, despite the bitter opposition of the Christian merchants and artisans. The rivalry between the Christian and Jewish tailors ended in 1805 when a united guild was founded. In 1780 King Stanislaus ii (Poniatowski) ordered the expulsion of the Jews from Lublin. As a result of the intervention of Jewish leaders the expulsion did not take place until 1795, when Lublin was annexed by Austria.
Tensions in the 16th to 18th centuries were aggravated whenever the Polish High Court convened in Lublin, especially when trying a *blood libel case. The court hearings were then followed by attacks on the Jews; some were murdered and their property stolen. If the High Court sentenced the accused Jew to death the execution usually took place on a Saturday in front of the Maharshal Shul synagogue, and elders of the kehillah and other Jews had to attend. An execution was often followed by an attack on the Jewish quarter. Like the whole of Jewry in Poland-Lithuania, Lublin Jews suffered greatly during the *Chmielnicki uprisings in 1648–49. Another period of hardship followed in the second half of the 18th century with the disintegration of the Polish state.
In spite of hardships, the fairs and yeshivah of Lublin became central in Jewish communal and cultural life in Poland (see *Councils of the Lands). The first known rabbi of Lublin was Jacob b. Joseph *Pollak; *Shalom Shakhna b. Joseph was nominated by the king of Poland in 1541 as rabbi for Lublin and district. Other rabbis were Solomon b. Jehiel *Luria, in office for 15 years; Mordecai b. Abraham *Jaffe; and Meir b. Gedaliah *Lublin, known in halakhic literature as Maharam of Lublin. Lublin communal institutions included a well-organized ḥevra kaddisha and a "preacher's house" which provided visiting preachers with food and lodging. The fortified Maharshal Shul, the most famous synagogue in Lublin, was built in 1567. It burned down in the great fire of 1655 but was later rebuilt.
In the 16th century Lublin had several well-known physicians. At the beginning of the century the king of Poland exempted one, Ezekiel, from various taxes in recognition of his services. Another famous physician of that century was Solomon Luria, author of a medical treatise. Physicians in Lublin in the 17th century were Samuel b. Mattathias, Moses Montalto, and Ḥayyim Felix Vitalis, who graduated from Padua in 1658 and served as physician to the Polish king. During the 19th century Lublin became an important commercial center through the exploitation of the economic opportunities created by the vast Russian markets. The Jews expanded their wholesale commerce and their industrial establishments. One of the largest cigarette factories was founded by a Jew in 1860 and employed about 100 workers; 95% of the tanning industry was owned by Jews. The increased number of Jewish workers became an important factor in Jewish social life: workers' unions were established in various trades, and the first groups of the *Bund emerged at this time. In 1806 there were 2,973 Jews in Lublin, increasing to 8,747 (56% of the total population) in 1857. In 1862, just before the annulment of the prohibition on Jewish residence within the city, they numbered 10,413; by 1897 they had increased to 23,586.
*Ḥasidism played a prominent role in Lublin, mainly through the influence of the local ẓaddikim, such as *Jacob Isaac ha-Ḥozeh ("the seer") of Lublin, and the Eiger dynasty from the middle of the 19th century. At the same time some of the community rabbis strongly opposed the Ḥasidim, particularly Azriel Horovitz (late 18th century) and Joshua Heshel Ashkenazi who was nominated in 1852. As the latter was rich and economically independent he led the struggle against Ḥasidism without any regard for the opinions of the kehillah members. In the 19th century traditional education in the ḥeder and yeshivah continued, although Lublin lost its communal and cultural prominence with the abolition of the Councils of the Lands and the predominance of Ḥasidism. From the second half of the 19th century, the first Jewish schools with instruction in Russian or Polish were founded. In 1897 the first Hebrew school was opened.
In independent Poland there were no substantial changes in the occupational structure of the Jewish community but the percentage of Jews in the population decreased. In 1921 there were 37,337 Jews in the city (34.7% of the population as opposed to 50.9% in 1897). The numbers remained steady; 38,937 in 1931 and 37,830 in 1939 (according to the German census). Many Jewish workers were engaged in the *leather industry; in 1939 the biggest leather factory in the city belonged to a Jew and half the employees were Jews. Consequently the trade union of Jewish leather workers had a membership of above 500. In Lublin, as in the whole of Poland, the Jews suffered from the hatred of the Poles and the anti-Jewish policies adopted by independent Poland between the two world wars. In the 1930s attacks on Lublin Jews were led by students of the Lublin Catholic University, whose rector was the author of antisemitic pamphlets. Antisemitic propaganda was the main topic of the leading Polish newspaper in the city, Głos Lubelski ("Voice of Lublin").
In spite of this Lublin Jews led an active social and cultural life between the wars. Trade unions were influenced by the Bund and the Left Po'alei Zion. In the middle-class sector the Orthodox *Agudat Israel and the *Folkspartei – both anti-Zionist – were influential. Branches of all the Zionist parties were active. The focus of local political interest until 1936, except in the Bund, was the community organization. In education the traditional ḥeder system was joined by *Beth Jacob schools for girls and by an Orthodox Zionist Yavneh school. The secular Zionist *Tarbut Hebrew school had its first graduates in 1933. Cultural activities included dramatic societies, libraries, orchestras, and a sports organization. A Jewish daily, Lubliner Togblat, was published. The most famous yeshivah of that period in Lublin was the Yeshivah Ḥakhmei Lublin, founded by Meir *Shapira, rabbi from 1925 to 1933. After the death of Shapira a court of three dayyanim functioned instead of a rabbi.
[Shimshon Leib Kirshenboim]
The wandering printer Ḥayyim Schwarz (Shaḥor), his son, and son-in-law went to Lublin around 1547, where they began printing, with periodically renewed privileges (1550, 1559, 1578). Their first productions were liturgical items, notably the maḥzor of 1550. With the help of *Eliezer b. Isaac (Ashkenazi) of Prague they brought out a fine Pentateuch in 1557, and a (complete?) Talmud edition (1559–77), partly printed in nearby Konsha Wolowie when the plague broke out in Lublin in 1559. With a fresh outbreak of the plague in 1592, the printers moved temporarily to Bistrowitz. Kalonymus b. Mordecai *Jaffe, who had married Ḥayyim Schwarz's granddaughter and whose name appears in the Pentateuch mentioned above, took over when Eliezer b. Isaac and his son left for Constantinople around 1573. Kalonymus managed the printing house till his death in about 1603, and it was continued (with interruptions) under his descendants to the end of the century and possibly beyond. A fire destroyed the plant and most of the books in 1647, but printing was resumed soon after. A great variety of works – liturgical, homiletical, and rabbinical – were issued there, among them Mordecai Jaffe's Levushim (1591–?), a Mishnah (1594–96), the Talmud (1611–39), the first editions of Samuel Edels' Novellae (1617), and the Zohar (1623–24). Jacob Hirschenhorn and Moses Schneidermesser opened a Hebrew printing press in 1875 (from 1910 Hirschenhorn and Streisenberg); Feder and Setzer were active from 1894; and M. Schneidermesser in the 1920s.
At the beginning of 1941 the Jewish population of Lublin was about 45,000, including some 6,300 refugees. The city was captured by the Germans on Sept. 18, 1939. In the very first days of the occupation, Jews were forcibly evicted from their apartments, physically assaulted, and put on forced labor. Some Jews were taken as hostages, and all the men were ordered to report to Lipowa Square, where they were beaten.
For a while, the Nazis entertained the idea of turning the Lublin district into a Jewish reservation for the concentration of the Jews from the German-occupied parts of Poland and other areas incorporated into the Reich. At the end of 1939 some 5,000 refugees arrived in Lublin, and another 1,300 came in February 1940 (from Stettin). The group from Stettin did not remain in Lublin. In April 1940 the plan of a Jewish reservation was officially discarded; at a later stage, Lublin became one of the centers for the mass extermination of Jews. For a while, the city was the scene of the activities of Odilo *Globocnik, commander of the police and the S.D. and head of "Aktion Reinhardt" (see *Poland, Holocaust Period).
The existing Jewish community council remained in office until Jan. 25, 1940, when the Judenrat was appointed. The composition of the Judenrat did not differ greatly from the former community council; it consisted of 24 members, most of them prewar political figures, and was headed by Henryk Bekker, an engineer. The outstanding leader in the Judenrat however, was its deputy chairman, Mark Alten, who later became its chairman, when the Judenrat was reconstituted, on March 31, 1942, and restricted to 12 members. During the first period of its existence, the Judenrat did not confine itself to the execution of Nazi orders (such as the provision of forced labor) but initiated a number of projects designed to alleviate the harsh conditions. Public kitchens were established and provided meals for the local poor and the refugees; the ghetto was divided into a number of units for the purpose of sanitary supervision, each unit run by a doctor and several medical assistants. There were also two hospitals with a total of over 500 beds and a quarantine area in the Maharshal Shul with 300 beds. Hostels were established to house abandoned children, but the Judenrat did not succeed in reestablishing the Jewish school system, and the schooling that was available to the children was carried on as a clandestine operation.
In March 1941 the Nazis ordered a partial evacuation of the Jews in preparation for the official establishment of the ghetto. About 10,000 Jews were driven out to villages and towns in the area in the period March 10–April 30, 1941, and at the end of March the ghetto was created, with a population of about 34,000. On April 24, 1941, exit from the ghetto was restricted.
At the beginning of 1942, when the extermination campaign entered its decisive stage, the Jews of Lublin were among its first victims. Their deportation began on March 16, and in its course 30,000 Jews were despatched to the death camp at *Belzec or were murdered on the way. The rate of deportation was fixed at 1,500 per day, and attempts by the Jews to hide were of no avail. The remaining 4,000 Jews were taken to Majdan Tatarski, where they lived for a few more months under unbearable conditions. On Sept. 2, 1942, 2,000 Jews were murdered, as were another 1,800 at the end of October. Some 200 survivors were sent to the *Majdanek death camp. Some Jews, who were skilled craftsmen, were still employed in Lublin, but in May 1943 the workshops were liquidated and the Jewish workers sent to Majdanek. Another 300 were kept in the Lublin Fortress, where they were employed in a few remaining workshops until July 1944, when they too were put to death a few days before the Nazis evacuated the city.
Lublin was also the site of a prisoner of war camp for Jews who had served in the Polish army. The first prisoners arrived in February 1940. Those who came from the area of the General Government were set free, but some 3,000, whose homes were in the Soviet-occupied area or in the districts incorporated into the Reich, remained in detention. The Judenrat tried to extend help to the prisoners, and there was also a public committee which provided the inmates with forged documents in order to enable them to leave the camp. When the Germans stepped up the extermination campaign, there were some attempts to escape from the camp, to which the Germans responded by imposing collective punishment upon the prisoners. Nevertheless, there were continued efforts to obtain arms, and some prisoners succeeded in escaping to the nearby forests, where they joined the partisans; some of the escaped prisoners assumed senior command posts in the partisan units. On Nov. 3, 1943, the last group of prisoners was deported to Majdanek.
On July 24, 1944 the Red Army liberated Lublin. The next day Polish regular army and guerilla units entered the city. A few thousand Jewish soldiers served in those units, and among the guerillas was a Jewish partisan company under Captain Jechiel Grynszpan. Until the liberation of Warsaw in January 1945, Lublin served as the temporary Polish capital. During that time some Jewish cultural and social institutions were established there, among others the Central Committee of Polish Jews. Several thousand Jews, most of whom survived the Holocaust in the Soviet Union, settled in Lublin, but the majority of them left during the years 1946–50 due to the antisemitic attitude of a great part of the Polish population. A club of the Jewish Cultural Society was still functioning in the city until 1968, when all remaining Lublin Jews left Poland.
S.B. Nissenbaum, Le-Korot ha-Yehudim be-Lublin (1900); M. Balaban, Di Yidn-Shtot Lublin (1947); N. Shemen, Lublin, Shtot fun Torah, Rabones un Khasides (1951); S. Wojciechowski, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 7 pt. 1 (1952), 124–7; B. Mandelsberg-Schildkraut, Meḥkarim be-Toledot Yehudei Lublin (1965); Friedberg, in: Yerushalayim, ed. by J. Kreppel, 1:3 (1900), 95–104. hebrew printing: Ḥ.D. Friedberg, Le-Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Lublin (1900); idem, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Polanyah (19502); idem, in: Ha-Ẓofeh, 10 (1926), 282–5; Steinschneider-Cassel, Juedische Typographie (1938), 36ff. holocaust period: N. Blumental, Te'udot mi-Getto Lublin (1967), Eng. summary; eg, 5 (1957), Lublin volume; Dos Bukh fun Lublin (1952), memorial book.
"Lublin." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 14, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lublin
"Lublin." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved August 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lublin