Majdanek Camp – updated 31 August 2022
Majdanek was a Nazi concentration and extermination camp operated by the Schutzstaffel (SS) during the German occupation of Poland in World War II from 1st October 1941 until 22nd July 22, 1944, and was used to kill people on an industrial scale.
Majdanek Concentration Camp was located on the outskirts of the city of Lublin and was initially intended for forced labour. It soon became part of Operation Reinhard, the secretive German plan to exterminate Polish Jews in the General Government district of German-occupied Poland.
The 270-hectare camp was one of the largest of the Nazi run death camps with seven gas chambers, two wooden gallows and 227 structures. Unlike other camps, Majdanek was captured nearly intact due to the rapid advance of the Soviet Army, which did not allow the SS sufficient time to destroy the infrastructure and evidence of war crimes.
The concept for Majdanek originated with Heinrich Himmler who was Reichsführer of the SS and a leading architect of the Holocaust. Originally, the camp was used as a work camp housing prisoners from 30 different countries and Soviet prisoners of war. The conditions at the camp were horrific, of the 150,000 people who were imprisoned in Majdanek, 80,000 died, including 60,000 Jews. Many succumbed to disease, starvation and the forced labour.
During the beginning of Operation Reinhard, Majdanek was re-purposed as a sorting and storage depot for property and valuables stolen from the victims at the death camps of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. The gas chambers were added to the camp in September 1942; at which time, Majdanek began to function as a killing centre.
The official estimation of the number of victims of Majdanek is 78,000 of those 59,000 were Jews.
In July 1969, on the 25th anniversary of its liberation, a large monument was constructed at the site. It consists of two parts: a large gate monument at the camp’s entrance and a large mausoleum holding ashes of the victims at its opposite end.
Visit a place which is different than Auschwitz or Dachau. Majdanek Concentration Camp is the most complete witness of the terrifying Holocaust. Silent, with no crowds or rush. Chill out at a beautiful old town in Lublin afterward.
After the hotel pick up, you’ll drive with your guide towards Lublin, which is located approx. 190 kilometres from Warsaw (3 hours’ drive). The Majdanek Concentration Camp was a Nazi German concentration and extermination camp established on the outskirts of the city of Lublin during the German occupation of Poland in World War II. The camp, which operated from October 1, 1941, until July 22, 1944, was captured nearly intact because the rapid advance of the Soviet Red Army prevented the SS from destroying most of its infrastructure. Majdanek, also known to the SS as Konzentrationslager Lublin, remains the best-preserved Nazi concentration camp of the Holocaust. Nowadays it’s a quiet and a bit forgotten Museum, which you will visit with our guide.
After the visit in Majdanek guide will take you to the Old Town of Lublin. This city thrived as a centre of trade and commerce due to its strategic location on the route between Vilnius and Kraków; the inhabitants had the privilege of free trade in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Lublin Parliament session of 1569 led to the creation of a real union between the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, thus creating the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Lublin was a royal city of the Crown Kingdom of Poland, and for centuries, the city has been flourishing as a centre of culture and higher learning, with Kraków, Warsaw, Poznań, and Lwów.
Although Lublin was not spared from severe destruction during World War II, its picturesque and historic Old Town has been preserved. The district is one of Poland’s official national historic monuments, as designated May 16, 2007, and tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland – Book tickets