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Majdanek (PL)-German concentration camp- sad story about it

State Museum at Majdanek

The Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp 1941-1944

Majdanek, or KL Lublin, was a German concentration and extermination camp built and operated by the SS on the outskirts of the city of Lublin during the German occupation of Poland in World War II.

What do you know about the story of

Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp Majdanek?

20/07/1941 - Order to establish the camp

It was Heinrich Himmler, during his visit to Lublin in July 1941, who decided to establish a camp in Lublin. He ordered to build a camp for 25–50,000 Soviet POWs in the south-eastern outskirts of Lublin.

October 1941 - Beginning of the camp building

Hans Kammler's order of September 27, 1942, on immediate beginning of erecting camps for prisoners of war in Auschwitz and Lublin, constituted grounds for commencement of construction work.

October 1941 - Deportation of the soviet prisoners of war

The first large group of prisoners were Soviet prisoners of war. Shortly after their deportation also interpreters, physicians and prisoner functionaries from other camps started to be brought at Majdanek, including from Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and Sachsenhausen.

Autumn 1941 - The first transport of Jews from Lublin arrives

The first group of prisoners, employed to erect the camp, constituted Jews brought to Majdanek from the Lublin ghetto.

December 1941/January 1942 - The first group of polish peasants from the Lublin region are detained in the camp

In December 1941 the first groups of Polish hostages started to be detained in the Majdanek camp. They were imprisoned in reprisal for participation in sabotage and in guerrilla actions as well as for default on quota and tax towards the occupational authorities.

29/03/1942 - Mass deportation of Slovak Jews start

At Majdanek started to be detained prisoners as part of "Aktion Reinhardt." Transports of Slovak Jews arrived to Majdanek as a result of agreement between Nazi Germany and Slovakia. They were mostly men who were able to work.

September/October 1942 - Gas Chambers start operating

In the summer of 1942, construction of gas chambers started. In July of that year Cyclone B was ordered in Tesch & Stabenow company in Hamburg. The first batch of the poisonous gas was delivered to the camp at the end of August, whereas the gas chambers were put into operation in September or October 1942. Carbon monoxide was also used for killing prisoners.

01/10/1942 - The female concentration camp starts it's operation

Frauen Konzentrationslager (FKL) was established on October 1, 1942. The first inmates were women from Dziesiąta and Wieniawa (quarters of Lublin) and from the town of Goraj.

14/12/1942 - The wave of deportations of political prisoners from the gestapo prisons in the general government starts

Pursuant to Heinrich Himmler’s order, nearly 35,000 people detained in prisons were brought to Majdanek and Auschwitz. The first such transport arrived to KL Lublin on January 7, 1943. It included mainly political prisoners from Radom, Kielce, Piotrków and Częstochowa.

06/01/1943 - Order to direct KL Lublin belarussians detained as part of actions against "Gangs"

Starting March 1943, the first transports of Belarussian prisoners came – including mainly women and children from the camps in Vitebsk and Mogilev. Successive transports arrived until January 1944.

06/01/1943 - Order to establish field hospital for soviet invalids

Field hospital was an autonomous unit of the Majdanek camp. It was earmarked for war invalids who were disabled or suffered illnesses as a result of serving at the front or those who defected to the Germans. They were marked with no numbers and wore no badges. They did not have to wear striped uniforms.

27/04/1943 - The first transport of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto, which is engulfed by uprising, comes to Majdanek

Influx of huge transports with Jews came to Majdanek by the end of April 1943, when the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto had been almost over and its liquidation started.

30/06/1943 - First transport of people dislocated from the Zamość region

Based on Odilo Globocnik's order of June 3, 1943, on "combating bands," people from the following poviats were brought to Majdanek: Biłgoraj, Hrubieszów, Tomaszów Lubelski and Zamość.

03/11/1943 - Execution by firing squad of 18.000 Jews - prisoners of Majdanek and labor camps in Lublin - operation "Erntefest"

On November 3, 1943, the biggest execution in the history of German concentration camps took place in Majdanek camp. It was conducted within the operation “Erntefest” (Harvest Festival) and it finished extermination of the Jews in the Lublin district. The “Erntefest” operation held in Lublin involved all the Jewish prisoners of Majdanek, and those from the camps on Lipowa Street and in Flugplatz – 18,000 people in total.

14/12/1943 - One thousand ill and emaciated prisoners come from KL Sachsenhausen

Following the extermination of Jews, the largest ethnic groups at Majdanek were Poles and citizens of the USSR. However, at the turn of 1943, the transports with ill prisoners from the camps in the Reich started arriving to KL Lublin, among them from Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Neuengamme and Sachsenhausen.

01/04/1944 - Beginning of the prisoners evacuation

First evacuation transports started at the beginning of April. In less than three weeks about 9,000 men, women and children were transported to the concentration camps located west of Lublin. People who were deemed able to work got to camps in the Reich, whereas the majority of the sick and many in grave condition got to Auschwitz.

22/07/1944 - Evacuation of the last group of prisoners

The final liquidation of the camp took place in the afternoon on July 22. A few hours earlier, near the crematorium of Majdanek, Germans executed several hundred prisoners of the Lublin Castle and civilians in reprisal for partisan activities.


The State Museum at Majdanek was founded in November 1944 on the grounds of the former German concentration camp. It is an institution directly subordinated to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. In addition to organizing exhibitions, the museum also runs educational and academic activities. Since 2004 there has also been a non-local branch of Majdanek – Museum and Memorial Site in Bełżec and since 2012 – Museum and Memorial Site in Sobibór.

The mission of the Museum is to cultivate the memory and promote historical education about the German occupation in the Lublin region during World War II, particularly by means of commemorating the victims, preserving the relics and documenting the history of the concentration camp at Majdanek and the death camps in Bełżec and Sobibór.

The State Museum at Majdanek was established at the site of the former German concentration camp which functioned on the outskirts of Lublin between October 1941 and July 1944. It was opened in November 1944 and was the first museum devoted to the commemoration of the victims of World War II in Europe.

More: Panstwowe Muzeum na Majdanku

Opening Hours

Winter season (November–March)

Grounds and historical structures: 9.00–16.00 Historical exhibition (barracks 62): 9.00–16.00 Visitor Service Center (publications, guides): 9.00–16.00

Summer season (April–October)

Grounds and historical structures: 9.00–18.00 Historical exhibition (barracks 62): 9.00–17.00 Visitor Service Center (publications, guides): 9.00–17.00

The Museum is closed on Mondays

Last admission to the Museum grounds is an hour before the closing time. Last admission to the permanent exhibitions is half an hour before the closing time.

Approximate time needed to visit the Museum: Guided tour – about 2,5 h Individual tour – about 1,5 h Museum lessons and other educational activities – 4,5 h or more


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