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Lipowa Street Camp

Last Update 6 July 2006



A postcard, written on 13 September 1942, sent one day later.
Sender: "Lisa Schuldberger, Lublin GG, Lindenstr.7, Lager"
Addressee:"Maria Kittel, Berlin ..."

A young lady sends regards to her little sister. She is sad at not receiving any parcels, although her relatives have sent some. Since her arrival at the camp three weeks ago, she has had no change of clothing.

Photo: Edward Victor

The forced labour camp at 7 Lipowa Street (named Lindenstraße during the occupation) was set up by the SS- und Polizeiführer Odilo Globocnik in October 1939. About 200 Jews from Lublin were forced to convert the former sports field of the "Lublin Academic Sports Organisation" into a POW camp. Barracks were built for manual workers.

Camp Map
Camp Map
Jewish POWs of the Polish Army were imprisoned here. They were captured in September 1939 during the German invasion of Poland. Some 1,000 Jews, both POWs and civilians, were crowded together in the camp. In total, about 7,000 Jewish POWs passed through the camp.
From spring 1940, until end of that year, around 3,200 POWs who came from German-occupied Poland were released. The Jews who had their homes in the parts of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union remained in the camp. They received assistance from the Jewish community in Lublin whose members collected money, clothes, medicine etc and searched for families who were willing to house the internees. Thus most of these POWs were released in June 1940.

From 14 August until 7 September 1940 the Lipowa Street Camp became a transit camp for Jewish forced labourers: more than 15,000 Jews arrived and after a short time were sent to other camps in the Lublin district. In February 1941, around 3,000 Jews no longer classified as POWs remained in the camp. They had to labour in workshops and several hundreds of them were forced to build the concentration camp at KZ Majdanek, near to the city.
In December 1940, the SS company DAW (Deutsche Ausrüstungswerke) had taken possession of the camp. The DAW Lindenstraße (Lipowa Street) was a firm employing exclusively Jewish slave labour and producing mainly wooden articles, which were made with the most modern machinery. There were also tailoring and cobbler's shops, saddlers, tanneries and printing works utilising this slave labour. Jews from Lipowa Camp were sent to other SS factories for work, whilst those captured in periodic roundups in the Lublin Ghetto were brought to the camp. The Lipowa Camp also played a role in sorting the belongings of the victims of Aktion Reinhard, specializing in shoes.

Himmler at Lipowa Camp on 20 July 1941
Himmler at Lipowa Camp on 20 July 1941
Hermann Dolp
Hermann Dolp
The SS guards ("Trawnikis") came from Majdanek. The Lipowa Camp commander was SS-Sturmbannführer Hermann Dolp.

The conditions in the camp were exceptionally brutal. Minor infringements of the camp regulations often resulted in a prisoner's death. For a single escapee, ten other prisoners were hanged. From time to time large groups were selected for death and sent to Majdanek. For example, on 17 August 1942 several hundred inmates were chosen for transfer to Majdanek, but the shoemakers amongst them used their knives to attack the guards, wounding and even killing some of the latter. Nonetheless, those prisoners not being immediately shot by the SS, were taken to Majdanek.
During the existence of the camp a resistance organisation was active, led by Roman Fiszer. Little by little about 400 Jews were able to escape during the winter of 1942/43. Most of them were caught and shot, but about 150 reached the forests and joined two underground groups which later became part of the "Gwardia Ludowa" partisans.

After the Sobibor Uprising (14 October 1943) Himmler issued an order to kill all of the remaining Jews in the Lublin district labour camps. This mass murder took place simultaneously in the forced labour camps on 3 and 4 November 1943. The code name was Aktion Erntefest ("Action Harvest Festival"), organized by the SS- und Polizeiführer Jacob Sporrenberg, the successor to Globocnik.
Lipowa Camp
Lipowa Camp 1942*
On 3 November, the last 2,500 Jews from the Lipowa Camp set out on their final march to Majdanek. The prisoners attempted to escape en route, but their efforts were in vain.
Later, the Lipowa Camp became an outer camp of Majdanek. Small groups of prisoners worked there. In February 1944, 500 non-Jews from German concentration camps were taken to the Lipowa Camp.
On 22 July 1944 the camp was liquidated. The remaining 229 inmates were sent to Auschwitz.

Actually (December 2005) construction works have started to build a large entertainment complex at the site, the Plaza Centers Lublin (possibly including restaurants, cinemas, shops, etc.). This project might destroy the remnants (concrete foundations and a small part of a barrack wall) of the former camp where so many people were murdered.

The photograph of Himmler at the Lipowa Camp is provided by courtesy of Peter Witte, co-author of the book "Der Dienstkalender Heinrich Himmlers 1941/42".
The enlargement of the photograph has been enhanced by ARC.

Photos: Marek Gromaszek*

Pinkas Hakehillot. "Lublin" - Encyclopedia Of Jewish Communities in Poland, Vol.7. Yad Vashem.
Israel Gutman. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.
Robert Kuwalek, Lublin

Camp Location - see Lublin City Map

© ARC 2005

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