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Jewish Memorials in Eastern Poland: Lancut, Lesajsk, Lublin, Zamosc

These images, taken in 2007, show a landscape where there was once a large Jewish population that was obliterated by the German occupiers of Poland during the Holocaust. All of the famous wooden synagogues of Poland were burned. Now, a few synagogues remain that have been restored with international aid for historic sites, or Jewish organizations from around the world. Cemeteries were also destroyed during the Holocaust, part of a long-range plan to remove all traces that Jews had ever lived in this region. This part of the Holocaust was successful.

About Lancut and the Holocaust:

From Encyclopaedia Judaica

"The city was taken by the Germans on September 9, 1939, and forced labor decrees put into effect. The local synagogue was set on fire, followed by the expulsion of the Jews of Lancut on September 22, 1939. Most of them were sent into Soviet territory across the San River. Others were widely dispersed over German-occupied territory. At the end of 1939, a few dozen former inhabitants returned, as did Jewish refugees from the Polish territories annexed to the Reich. The Judenrat was headed by Marcus Pohorille. In early 1940, there were about 900 Jews in Lancut, and 1,300 by the end of the year, with the arrival of refugees expelled from Cracow. After the outbreak of the German-Soviet war (June 22, 1941), Jews who had fled to Soviet-held territory or who had been expelled by the Germans in September 1939, tried to return to Lancut to reunite with their families; in November 1941, a number of them were caught and put to death. On August 1, 1942, the Jews of Lancut were deported and were taken to Pelkinia, a town about 9 miles (14 km) from Lancut where there was a transit camp for Jews from the Jaroslaw region. The elderly, the sick, the children were shot in the camp or in the Nechczioli forest, about 3 miles (5 km) away. By September 17, 1942, they were taken to the ghetto of Szeniawa, where the remaining Jews of the area were concentrated. In May 1943, the Szeniawa ghetto was liquidated, and its inmates, including the remnants of the Lancut community, were murdered in the local cemetery (EJ 10, 1382-1383)."

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Lancut Synagogue, interior.

10 Commandments on wall and pillars of
Bimah. Built in 1726. Hebrew name is Ezrat Nashim. Shmuel Back (artist)

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Lancut synagogue-restored walls with Hebrew texts

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Lancut synagogue-landscape of the city and texts

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Lancut synagogue Bima with ornate decoration

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Lancut synagogue Bima with ornate decoration

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Lancut synagogue interior decoration with Lion

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Lancut synagogue with animal decorations

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Lancut synagogue: wall decoration and women's section above.

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Entrance to the Lancut Synagugue, Lancut, Poland. There is no resident Jewish population since the end of the Holocaust. The former synagogue from 1761 was completely overhauled in the 1980s and has been restored, with wall decorations from 18th and 19th centuries.

For a description of interior decoration, see:

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Exterior, Lancut Synagogue. The synagogue stands near the Potocki Palace.

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Exterior, Lancut Synagogue. The synagogue stands near the Potocki Palace.

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Lezajsk, Jewish Cemetary: Grave-ohel of tsaddik Elimelech, erected in 1776. During the war, it was heavily damaged by the Germans, who had been searching for the gold that was supposedly hidden inside it

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Religious text in Ohel of Tsaddick Elimelech

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Lezajsk, Jewish Cemetary-partially destroyed by Germans and restored.

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Lezajsk, Jewish Cemetary

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Lezajsk, Jewish Cemetary

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Cemetery building: Ohel of Tsaddick Elimelech

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Yeshiva and synagogue in Lublin, Poland, built by Rabbi Meir Shapiro and opened just before the German invasion of 1939. In 2007 the building is being restored for visiting Jewish groups, although only 18 Jews live in Lublin.

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Exterior, Lublin Yeshiva during its restoration, May 2007.

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Lublin Yeshiva at its 1939 dedication

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Rebuilt synagogue inside Lublin Yeshiva

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Center of Lublin old quarter and art museum

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Lublin, Sign commemorating the center of the old Jewish quarter

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Lublin, Plan of Jewish quarter as it looked in 1942

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Lublin. Home for the Aged in Jewish quarter which became home for Judenrat (Jewish Council in the Ghetto)

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Building of Judenrat during the Ghetto, 1942.

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Building of Judenrat during the Ghetto, 1942.

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View of Jewish Quarter, Lublin

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Zamosc Synagogue. The city of Zamosc had a Jewish population of 12,000 in 1939. Synagogue was erected in 1610 in Renaissance style.

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Zamosc Synagogue in restored condition is used for art exhibition

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Zamosc Synagogue in restored condition is used for art exhibition

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Zamosc Synagogue in restored condition is used for art exhibition

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Zamosc Synagogue in restored condition is used for art exhibition

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Zamosc Synagogue in restored condition is used for art exhibition

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Zamosc synagogue and historic plaques.

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Zamosc synagogue and historic plaques.

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Zamosc synagogue and historic plaques.

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Zamosc synagogue and historic plaques.

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Town of Zamosc, 2007

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Town of Zamosc, 2007

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Town of Zamosc, 2007

For more information on this region and Zamosc ghetto, see: