Gates of Tears is the first book in English to examine the Shoah in the Lublin District, an area central to Nazi anti-Jewish policy. Its analysis traces forced population movements and forced labor, constants in German policy, the bitter early memory of which influenced Jews’ later actions. Many hid or fled the deportations to death camps and forced labor, fearing an extreme return of earlier experience, unable to grasp the “Final Solution.” Lublin was a contradictory district — few ghettos yet little survival; Jews could not affect their collective fate. As Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech Talmud wrote in a last letter, no hope remained “only the gates of tears have not been locked before us.” Only luck could save them, but luck was scarce.
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