A formal ghetto was not established in Lublin until March 1941 but long before then the life of the Jewish population was very difficult. Many people were rounded up on the streets and sent to the labour camp at Belzec where poor living conditions, little food and harsh work killed many. There was every incentive to hide from the regime.
At night it was a dead city. The few small shops were barred and shuttered, and the blocks of flats were deserted. If there was no gunfire or drone of planes, it was quieter than the countryside. Even in an open field, the soughing of a tree in the breeze, the rustle of a rat in a hedge, or the wheeze of a cow, can still be heard. But here the silence was almost tangible — a literally dead silence, in which there was no life. It was difficult to believe that this was London, whose daily uproar never sank below a steady rumble, even in the small hours. After 10.3o p.m., when the public-houses turned out the few hardy regulars, the silence was complete, only broken occasionally by the echoing footsteps of a warden, or policeman, on patrol.