The location of the former concentration Camp Majdanek today is largely within the city limits of Lublin, a city in the eastern part of present day Poland, close to the border with the Ukraine. Nowadays it looks almost like a city park at about 4 kilometers from the city centre. It is surrounded by modern apartment buildings and a Roman Catholic cemetery that already existed when the camp was there. The main road to the Ukraine and Russia runs along the former camp site. During the war this was the main connecting route towards the eastern front for the German Army. And from the fall of 1943 it served the retreating German forces.
Majdanek with its surface of 270 hectares (approx 3 million sq ft) was the largest concentration camp in Europe after Auschwitz and had a relatively short existence between October 1941 and July 1944. According to the most recent calculations approximately 150.000 people are said to have been imprisoned in Majdanek. They were men and women of 54 different nationalities from 28 different countries. Of those supposedly 80.000 are said to have perished, amongst those 60.000 Jews. Sixty percent has died because of the awful circumstances in the camp: hunger, disease, cold and exhaustion. Forty percent has been gassed, hung, beaten to death or shot. These amounts are no more than estimates because up to this day still no definitive numbers of victims have been assessed.
For current visiting hours, please visit the website of the museum.
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- Text: Robert Jan Noks
- Photos: Felix Dalberger (2,3,4,5)