The Majdanek Remembrance Project

The Majdanek Concentration Camp (pronounced Mide-on-eck), or KL Lublin, operated from October 1, 1941 until July 22, 1944.
It is the best preserved of all of the Nazi concentration camps. Majdanek also consisted of the following sub-camps:

- Alter Flugplatz Lublin Airfield Labor Camp
- Belzyce Labor Camp
- Budzyn Labor Camp
- Deblin-Irena (Pulawy) Labor Camp
- Dorohucza Labor Camp
- Lipowa 7 Labor Camp in Lublin
- Milejow Labor Camp
- Naleczow Labor Camp
- Poniatowa Concentration Camp
- Trawniki Concentration Camp

In July, 1941 Nazi Heinrich Himmler inspected the area around Lublin to find a camp suitable for 50,000 prisoners. Construction
of the camp began in October of 1941 and was carried out by Jewish slave laborers, most of whom were in the Lipowa 7 camp,
which housed Jewish prisoners of war. From October, 1942, the camp had three permanent gas chambers, in which prisoners
were murdered by Zyklon B or carbon monoxide. A list of the Majdanek Nazis is available here. Camp leadership are profiled here.

The following are some of the known transports to Majdanek concentration camp:

-- 150 Jewish men, used to build the camp, who had been captured in Lublin or Lipowa in October, 1941;
-- 2,000 to 5,000 Red Army POWs in December, 1941;
-- ~1,000 Jewish men from Slovakia on March 29, 1942;
-- ~15,000 Jews from Slovakia, Bohemia, and Moravia in March and April, 1942;
-- Unknown number of Polish Jews in May, 1942;
-- Unknown number of Jewish women from Radom (Jan. 8, 1943), Lwow, and Warsaw in January and February, 1943;
-- Unknown number of non-Jewish Polish prisoners from Pawiak prison on January 18, 1943;
-- 1,003 Jews from Drancy Concentration Camp (France) on March 4, 1943;
-- 998 Jews from Drancy Concentration Camp (France) on March 6, 1943;
-- Unknown number of non-Jewish women and children from Belarus in spring, 1943;
-- Unknown number of former Red Army POWs in May, 1943;
-- 2,000 Jews from Kurow, Lubartow, Piaski ghetto, and Lublin region in May, 1943;
-- 36,500 Jews from rural Poland in 1943;
-- 6,000 Jews from the Netherlands and an unknown number of Jews from Greece in 1943;
-- 74,000 Jews from the Warsaw, Bialystok, and Lublin areas in July and August, 1943;
-- Unknown number of political prisoners from the prison at the Lublin Castle;
-- ~5,000 sick prisoners from Buchenwald, Dachau, and Sachenhausen concentration camps in fall and winter, 1943;
-- Unknown number of female prisoners from Auschwitz and Ravensbruck concentration camps in 1943

Even with the unknown and incomplete figures above, more than 141,000 souls are counted among those transported to the camp.
That number is actually much higher, but enough records do not exist to substantiate specific transports to Lublin-Majdanek.

Between November 2nd and 30th in 1942, 21 prisoners attempted to escape from the Majdanek camp but were all shot. According
to the Majdanek museum in Poland, around 500 prisoners were able to escape from Majdanek, but it seems that most of them
were POWs and few were Jews. Several large groups of Jews escaped from Lipowa 7, a sub-camp of Majdanek.

The Aktion Erntefest, the largest execution at Majdanek (and the largest in all of Europe in a 24 hour period during the Holocaust)
took place on November 3, 1943, when the S.S. shot 18,400 Jews in ditches near the crematorium. When the Russians liberated
the camp in July of 1944, around 1,000 victims of Majdanek were still living. There are different estimates for the total number
of victims of the camp. A very low estimate I have seen is 78,000 murder victims. Considering the population of
Jews in Lublin alone was at least 40,000, this estimate would likely exclude deaths of all of the tens of thousands of people
sent to Lublin from various other locations in Europe. Given that 300,000 people were sent to Majdanek and very few escaped
death, I think a more accurate estimate is 230,000 to 260,000 victims -- including Jews, Poles, and gypsies.


Locations of forced labor and extermination camps in Lublin district.


Henio Zytomirski, a Jewish boy from Lublin murdered at the Majdanek Concentration Camp.


Jews from the Lublin ghetto being marched to forced labor. On Bernardynska Street, late 1941 or early '42.


Soviet POWs interned in the Majdanek camp, working at forced labor in the Lublin airport.


Slave labor at the Majdanek camp.


Camp number 3 in the Majdanek camp.


Camp number 5 in the Majdanek camp.


A view of the camp.


Guard towers in the Majdanek camp.


The area of the crematorium in the Majdanek camp. Human remains in front.




The sign reads, in German: "Bath and Disinfection". Photographed in 1984.


A man near the incinerator at Majdanek.






Bunks for inmates in a barracks in the Majdanek camp.


Poles overlook in horror a landfill where 43,000 Jews were buried in the Aktion Erntefest.


Shoah survivors visit the Majdanek site to pay tribute, 1947. The stone monument reads, "This site
is dedicated to the memory of those Jews murdered in Majdanek, who fell in the battle for liberty."


LINKS:

- 70th Anniversary of Majdanek Liberation
- Conditions at Majdanek
- Death Camp Majdanek
- Majdanek, the Cornerstone of Himmler's
Empire in the East

- Liberation of Majdanek
- State Museum of Majdanek
- Testimony of S.S. man Offerman



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