Majdanek Concentration Camp file photo [27328]

Majdanek Concentration Camp

Type   Prison Camp
Historical Name of Location   Lublin, Lublin, Poland

Contributor:

ww2dbaseIn Jul 1941, Heinrich Himmler visited Lublin, Poland. Shortly after, he ordered a prisoner of war camp to be built in the region with the capacity of at least 25,000. The desired capacity would soon be increased to 50,000 as German military successes in the Soviet Union continued. Construction began within Lublin's borders immediate adjacent to the Majdan Tatarski district (which led to the name of Majdanek) under the supervision of Austrian Nazi Odilo Globocnik in Oct 1941, with the work being done by 150 Jewish forced laborers. The camp site was about 2.7 square kilometers (about 670 acres) in size. The work force was later expanded to include 2,000 Soviet prisoners of war. In Nov 1941 and Dec 1941, the desired capacity was increased to 125,000 and 150,000, respectively. Through harsh working conditions, starvation, and disease, the entire work force of Jews and Soviet prisoners of war had perished by Jan 1942. No construction work was done for the lack of crew until yet another expansion order, this time to a capacity of 250,000, was given and a fresh forced labor crew was assigned. When the camp was deemed fully completed, it had the capacity of 50,000. Most of its prisoners served as forced laborers for the Austrian manufacturing firm Steyr-Daimler-Puch. In early 1942, at the onset of Operation Reinhard which aimed to deport all Polish Jews to concentration camps, Majdanek served as a sorting center and as a warehouse for stolen valuables originally belonging to Jews. By Mar 1942, however, it began operating as an extermination camp, with German and Eastern European collaborators executing prisoners by gunfire. In Sep 1942, the gas chamber at Majdanek began operations. In Oct 1942, female SS guards began to arrive. By mid-Oct 1942, the official population number for the camp was 9,519; 7,468 of them were Jews, while the majority of the remainder were non-Jewish Poles. In Feb 1943, the Germans allowed the Polish Red Cross and Central Welfare Council to deliver food items to prisoners of the camp. The camp's population grew steadily, reaching 16,206 by Aug 1943 (9,105 Jews, 3,893 non-Jewish Poles, plus others from a wide range of origins, including Western Europe). In Sep 1943, small forced labor camps in the proximity of Lublin were reorganized as sub-camps under Majdanek (Budzyn, Trawniki, Poniatowa, Krasnik, Pulawy, and Lipowa). Between Dec 1943 and Mar 1944, 18,000 prisoners deemed to be "invalid" were brought to Majdanek to be exterminated; most of them were murdered by gassing, while others were by gunfire. In late Jul 1944, with Soviet troops advancing on Lublin, an evacuation order was given. The combination of Deputy Commandant Anton Thernes's ineptitude and the lack of time led to Majdanek being captured by the Soviets on 24 Jul 1944 nearly fully in tact. Thousands of prisoners were liberated. It was also the first major concentration camp to be captured. Estimate of the number of victims at Majdanek ranged widely, generally ranging from 75,000 to over 300,000; a 2005 research done by Tomasz Kranz, a historian at the Majdanek Museum, estimated that there were 79,000 victims, 59,000 of whom were Jews. Trials against camp administrations were held very shortly after the camp's capture, with a group of guards being found guilty and executed as early as 3 Dec 1944. Of the camp commandants, Martin Gottfried Weiss was executed on 29 May 1946, and Arthur Liebehenschel on 28 Jan 1948. Trials would continue in Poland and in Germany for decades to come.

ww2dbaseAfter WW2, the camp was used by the Soviet NKVD organization as a prison camp for captured Polish Home Army personnel.

ww2dbaseIn 1947, the Polish Parliament decreed the camp site to be a monument. In 1965, it was granted the status of a national museum. In Jul 1969, a large monument designed by Wiktor Tolkin was built at the site.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia



Majdanek Concentration Camp Timeline

1 Sep 1941 Alfons Bentele was assigned to Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland.
1 Oct 1941 Operations began at Majdanek Concentration Camp near Lublin, Poland.
15 Nov 1941 Erich Mußfeldt was transferred from Auschwitz Concentration Camp to Majdanek Concentration Camp as the chief of the crematorium.
28 May 1942 Alfons Bentele was transferred away from Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland.
24 Aug 1942 Karl-Otto Koch stepped down as the commandant of Majdanek Concentration Camp in Poland.
9 Apr 1943 German officially renamed Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland to Lublin Concentration Camp (Konzentrationslager Lublin).
9 Apr 1943 The German government re-designated Majdanek from a labor camp to a concentration camp.
18 Jun 1943 Fritz Ritterbusch was assigned to Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland.
1 Nov 1943 Martin Gottfried Weiss was named the commandant of Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland, succeeding Max Koegel.
21 Jan 1944 600 prisoners deemed "invalid" were executed by gunfire at Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland.
23 Jan 1944 180 prisoners deemed "invalid" were executed by gunfire at Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland.
24 Mar 1944 200 prisoners deemed "invalid" were executed by gunfire at Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland.
5 May 1944 Arthur Liebehenschel was named the commandant of Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland, succeeding Martin Gottfried Weiss.
24 Jul 1944 Majdanek Concentration Camp became the first concentration camp to be liberated by Soviet troops (and the first to be liberated overall).
28 Aug 1944 Canadian journalist Raymond Arthur Davies, sponsored by the Canadian Jewish Congress, visited Majdanek Concentration Camp in occupied Poland.
29 Aug 1944 Canadian journalist Raymond Arthur Davies reported the general figure of one million Majdanek Concentration Camp victims to the Canadian Jewish Congress. He arrived at this estimate only one day after arriving at the camp. Nearly all experts deemed it to be a gross over-estimation.
30 Nov 1944 Former commandant and guards of Majdanek Concentration Camp were put on trial in Poland.
3 Dec 1944 Anton Thernes, former deputy commandant of Majdanek Concentration Camp, and two camp administrations were executed by hanging.
29 May 1946 Martin Gottfried Weiss, former Majdanek Concentration Camp commandant, was executed by hanging at the Landsberg Prison in Landsberg am Lech, Germany.
26 Jun 1946 Max Koegel, former Majdanek Concentration Camp commandant, was arrested.
27 Jun 1946 Max Koegel, former Majdanek Concentration Camp commandant, committed suicide while in captivity.
28 Jan 1948 Arthur Liebehenschel, former Majdanek Concentration Camp commandant, was executed by hanging.

Photographs

Aerial reconnaissance photograph of Majdanek Concentration Camp, Lublin, Poland, 24 Jun 1944Soviet soldiers inspecting the ovens at Majdanek Concentration Camp, Lublin, Poland, Jul-Aug 1944




Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook  Reddit
 Twitter  Digg
 Google+  Delicious
 StumbleUpon  


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code
 

 

Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Lat/Long 51.2203, 22.6001
Majdanek Concentration Camp Photo Gallery
Aerial reconnaissance photograph of Majdanek Concentration Camp, Lublin, Poland, 24 Jun 1944
See all 2 photographs of Majdanek Concentration Camp




Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944