Oral History

Lucine Horn describes conditions in the Lublin ghetto

Lucine was born to a Jewish family in Lublin. Her father was a court interpreter and her mother was a dentist. War began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Lucine's home was raided by German forces shortly thereafter. Soon after the German occupation of Lublin, Jews there were forced to wear a compulsory badge identifying them as Jews. A ghetto in Lublin was closed off in January 1942. Lucine survived a series of killing campaigns and deportations from the ghetto during March and April of the same year. Those who held valid labor cards were moved to a new ghetto in April 1942—the Majdan Tatarski ghetto, near the Majdanek killing center. Lucine escaped from Majdan Tatarski in November 1942, the month the Germans liquidated the ghetto. She eventually made her way to Warsaw where she first entered the ghetto and then went into hiding on the "Aryan" side.


The Germans would round up a certain area of the city, take out the Jews, beat 'em up, and ship 'em someplace off. We did not know what what happened to these people, what happened to the families, because we had no contact with newspapers, radios--everything was taken away from us. So we merely existed, not in our own home anymore. As the Jewish population was getting smaller and smaller, um, the the Germans had been giving the Jews smaller quarters to live. And because they wanted them all together, they were forming what wasn't even a ghetto yet, but an area what they would dedicate it for the Jews. And they would put, like, four or five families in one apartment. So that when they need to take them out, it would be easier for them to have them all together. Well, we lived through many of those actions. And fortunately both of my parents were working. Working so that the Germans needed them. Therefore, we were spared at the beginning, because my mother as a dentist was working in a hospital and the Germans needed care. Now, my father also had a job, in the administration of the ghetto, so they also needed him. But as I was already 14 years old, I needed a job of my own in order to be spared. So I got a little job in the bank helping out. And that's how, through all these actions, we were able to somehow survive.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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