Lublin, a leading center of Jewish learning since the late Middle Ages in eastern Poland, was occupied by the Germans in September 1939, a few weeks after the start of World War II. Its pre-war population of 40,000, representing over 30% of the city’s total population, increased in the weeks prior to occupation as Jews trying to escape from the German invaders in the western part of the country arrived. For a while the Nazi’s envisioned a large reservation for Jews near Lublin as part of a territorial solution to the “Jewish Question,” the so-called “Nisko Plan.” When this was deemed impractical, a ghetto was established in Lublin in 1941. Most Jews imprisoned in or near Lublin were departed to Majdanek or Bełżec. Lublin was administrative headquarters for Aktion Reinhard, the operation to plunder and murder the Jews of the General Government.
The New Jewish Cemetery and a nearby park include several Holocaust memorial stones.