You do not have to leave Lublin to sightsee the former Nazi concentration camp of Majdanek. The 70 wooden barracks, out of 238 constituting the camp during WWII, form the most sadness-ridden part of the city these days, as perfectly seen from some of its taller buildings. Throughout this 2-to-3 hours lasting tour, you will explore the 90 hectares of the memorial site and its extermination facilities, due to which 78,000 people (including 60,000 Jews and a great number of Poles) lost their lives. There will be an impressive Mausoleum constructed in its territory to give the remains of Majdanek victims to barbaric Nazi ideology the worthy resting place they deserve.
Prior to WWII, Lublin
was located precisely in the centre of Poland. Nowadays, this beautiful city is one of the easternmost urban settlements of the country
, 170 kilometres away from Warsaw
and nearly 300 kilometres of a driving route from Krakow
. Back in 1939, the area of Lublin had a lot of residents of Jewish origin present there
. This is why the Hitlerite doctrine of "the Final Solution of the Jewish Question"
made Heinrich Himmler
order the establishment of a concentration camp in the vicinity of Lublin in October 1941
, under the official name of "Konzentrationslager Lublin
". The locals quickly adopted their own name of the place – Majdanek, referring to the nearby district of Majdan Tatarski
This initially small camp
where mainly Soviet POW's were kept would soon evolve into an extensive facility of slave labour
. About 50,000 of new prisoners were composed of the Jews forced out from the territory of Zamojszczyzna. The Nazi plans were even bigger than that, including the vision of enlarging the camp of more than six fields of barracks
, where more "racially useless" children and women would be placed at. These were the prisoners themselves forced to built the new barracks
or make the labour force for German industrial companies, while they were also assigned a lot of meaningless, yet hard tasks to complete by the Nazi camp administrators. With the harsh conditions applied in the camp
, scant clothing, poor food portions and the everyday practice to murder randomly-selected prisoners
, the chances for surviving through Majdanek concentration camp were extremely low. Especially as – in the Autumn of 1942
– the Nazis changed their strategy and, when the gas chambers of Majdanek were finally put into operation, they transformed the camp into a predominantly death facility
. With over 100,000 inmates still imprisoned in Majdanek in 1943
, the staff of the camp successively worked on killing them during a rampant genocide
, with a variety of methods used. Solely on November 3, 1943, as many as 18,400 Jews were killed
, with the operation named "the Harvest Festival" ("Aktion Erntefest
"). Suddenly chased by the Soviet troops in the July of 1944, the Nazi crew only managed to evacuate 1,000 inmates to take part in a Death March to Auschwitz
. They were not only unable to destroy the evidence of their Holocaust machine
before abandoning the place, but also left thousands of prisoners behind its barbed wire.
The civilian population of Lublin
would provide the prisoners of Majdanek with the help that was proportional to their own limited capabilities
. Some of their offspring still live in the area of the current memorial site. Among the exhibitions displayed inside the primitive barracks of Majdanek, you will learn of the reality of occupied Lublin
, sightsee the model of the camp and visit the exhibitions on the horrifying living conditions of its victims
. There will be a few barracks devoted to such specific exhibitions and many information-bearing notices all around the site, with particular gas chambers, crematories and warehouses exposed to you
in an unaltered shape. The 25th anniversary of the liberation of the camp was when an important monument was incorporated into the bleak landscape of Majdanek. A grand Mausoleum
by Viktor Tolkin
, where the remains of Majdanek victims were collectively buried
, was unveiled in July, 1969.
Ready to confront your idea of how Holocaust was implemented with reality? Let us show you around Majdanek concentration camp. Contact us for detailed assistance in arranging your trip to Lublin.