Lublin – Pod Zegarem


In 1940, the Gestapo in Lublin took over a civilian administrative building called Pod Zegarem (under the clock) because it had a clock at the top. The Gestapo renovated the building and adapted it to its needs and officially became the headquarters of the Lublin Gestapo. The head of the Lublin Gestapo was SS-Obersturmfuhrer Herman Worthoff. The ground floor and the floors above were used as offices and interrogation facilities. The basement was converted into a prison with 14 cells along a corridor, including three cells without light. Other cells were of varying size and with limited light and no central heat. Toilet visits were allowed only with the arbitrary consent of the guards. Most of those sent to Pod Zegarem had been imprisoned in Lublin’s castle or sent directly to prison in connection with the arrest.

The interrogations began, as usually at nine o’clock in the morning, and the prisoners were picked up in the basement and brought up to the second floor or three where they were interrogated, not infrequently under torture. The screams of the tortured could be heard down to the basement and had a psychologically destructive effect on the prisoners. Depending on various factors, a prisoner could be held for anything from one day to several weeks before being sent back to, for example, Lublin Castle or to the Majdanek concentration camp on the outskirts of Lublin. Not infrequently, the prisoners were severely injured as a result of the assault they had suffered. It also happened that prisoners died during their stay in Pod Zegarem. Between 1942 and 1944, about 200 bodies were transported in paper bags from Pod Zegarem to Lublin Castle where doctors could not determine the real cause of death and had to invent one. The Gestapo abandoned Pod Zegarem on July 20, 1944.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2013).

Address: Uniwerzytecka 1, 20-029 Lublin.

Get there: Walk from central Lublin.

My comment:

Pod Zegarem survived and in the basement there is since 1979 an interesting museum in the former cells.

Follow up in books: Höhne, Heinz: The Order of the Death’s Head: The story of Hitler’s SS (1969).