ID: 101


On 7 August 1941, the general duty of work for all male Jews aged 14 to 60, as well as a number of other anti-Jewish laws, became effective in the territory of Eastern Galicia and Lviv. According to the order, all the relevant persons were to register with the Labour Office; moreover, the age limit was lowered to 12 years. Those who evaded the duty of work were threatened with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

To register and organize mediation in the use of Jewish workers, the Lemberg Jewish Labour Office (ger. Arbeitsamt Lemberg Judeneinsatz) was established. It was located in the Markiyan Shashkevych school building on Zamknena street 8 and later moved to the Mikołaj Rej school on present-day Pid Dubom street 1.

The institution was managed by Heinz Weber, a German, and the rest of the staff were exclusively Jews. They had their own card index of those registered. Persons who had found more or less permanent jobs, were given special certificates. Efforts were chiefly made to get jobs in the organizations and enterprises working for the Wehrmacht.

In the absence of a permanent job, registered workers had to come in due time to the Labour Office, in whose yard employers from different firms, institutions and military units chose people they needed for work. Employers were obliged to provide information on changes in their Jewish personnel every week. If a person was not registered or lost his/her official job, he/she became an "antisocial element" and was the first candidate to be taken to a concentration camp. However, in the face of police tyranny, even the availability of an official job, "useful for German economy", did not secure from such a fate at all. German and Jewish police could neglect certificates and seize people just on the city streets. Thus, many workers did not get to their work places, which, consequently, adversely affected the work of institutions and firms, many of which worked for the German army.

To correct the situation, on 28 November 1941 a special decree of the governor of the district of Galicia, Karl Lasch, was issued forbidding to get the Jews, who had proper labour certificates, involved in other work. In mid-March 1942, this order was duplicated by his successor, Otto von Wächter.

So, in view of the situation, on 13 March 1942 a special decree of the governor of the district of Galicia, Otto von Wächter, was issued; it was forbidden to get the Jews, who had proper labour certificates, involved in other work. In late March 1942, on the order of the statshauptman, i. e. the city governor, Egon Höller, a re-registration of all persons obliged to work was carried out. According to it, each working person was to receive a personal case, a new armband with a red letter "A" and a case number, as well as a new certificate (ger. Meldekarte). In addition, the immediate family members of such A-Jude (working Jew) were given armbands with blue letters and the husband's number.

As a result of the re-registration, the Jewish Labour Office finally took over control of the distribution of labour forces in the ghetto from the Judenrat’s Department of Labour, and also became the center of corruption as among the Jewish community of that time a belief was spread that the presence of such a certificate would enable "useful" workers to survive the wartime calamity.

Several months later, in late June 1942, the Jewish Labour Office was closed, and the lists of workers prepared there were used by the police to carry out the so-called "Great Action" in August 1942, i. e. the deportation of more than 40,000 people to the Bełżec death camp.

Related Places


Deutscheausrüstungswerke (DAW)

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The Zwangsarbeitslager-Lemberg (ZAL-L) or The Janowska Camp

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1. Державний архів Львівської області (ДАЛО) Р.37/4/140:43-44.
2. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), RG31.003M, Reel 1, 45.
3. "Другий виконний припис до розпорядження з дня 26 жовтня 1939 про введення примусу праці для жидівського населення Генеральної Губернії", Вісник розпоряджень для Генеральної Губернії, №56 (Краків, 1943).
4. Давид Кахане, Щоденник Львівського гетто. Спогади рабина Давида Кахане, Упор. Ж. Ковба (Київ, 2003), c. 56-57.
5. Eliyahu Jones, Żydzi Lwowa w okresie okupacji 1939-1945 (Łódź, 1999).
6. Ben Zion Redner, A Jewish Policeman in Lwów, Jerzy Michałowicz, trans. (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2015), 169-172.
Author: Taras Martynenko 
Editor: Taras Nazaruk
English translation: Andriy Maslyukh