Second in size in Europe, the camp comes right after Auschwitz (Oświęcim).
At the end of July 1941 Heinrich Himmler came up with an initiative to build a camp on the outskirts of Lublin. The plan was to hold 250 000 prisoners in this camp. Fortunately, only 20% of the planned development was completed.
Before the last group of Majdanek prisoners left the camp (they were moved to other camps, including Auschwitz) in 1944, Majdanek had already witnessed the death of 78 000 people.
The prisoners slept on these bunk beds:
The wore that clothing:
Their ashes are here, in this Mausoleum:
And their bones are here, in this sarcophagus (I remember when there was glass instead of the black cover and you could see everything. Then they sealed it off as ‘it was too shocking’):
Although the camp spreads as far as a busy street, the fields of Majdanek are drowned in a sad silence.
‘German young people, who would come to visit Majdanek, would faint at the sight of the remains of the camp, the photos, the items from the camp,’ our high school Polish teacher used to tell us. We do not faint. We remember.
German death camps. Not Polish. Remember.
P.S. In 2010 the barrack with 7500 shoes of the Majdanek prisoners caught fire. This is one of the videos that I made in April 2009: