No hope remained, Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech Talmud wrote in his last letter. Only luck could save the Jewish people of the Lublin District. Gates of Tears is the first book in English to examine the Holocaust in the Lublin District, an area central to Nazi anti-Jewish policy. As the headquarters to “Operation Reinhard,” Lublin is also key to understanding the Jewish responses. The analysis traces two connecting threads – forced population movements and forced labor. The bitter early memory of these constants in German policy later became a determining factor in the Jews’ action. Many Jews hid or fled the deportations to death camps and forced labor, fearing a more extreme version of earlier experience, yet unable to grasp the “Final Solution.” Lublin was a district of contradictions, with few ghettos yet little survival. This book also gives voice to the extensive communication among Jews, even amidst the deportations and murder. The story of the Lublin District highlights the futility of the Jews’ responses to the Holocaust. The Jews could not significantly affect their collective fate.