Concentration Camp Majdanek

July, 1941: Himmler decides to establish a concentration camp in the occupied Polish city Lublin, named after the town district Majdanek. With a planned capacity of 25.000 - 50.000 prisoners the camp is supposed to be a reservoir for human labour for the new SS base Lublin. Finally, the average number of prisoners in Majdanek ranks between 10.000 and 15.000. The first internees were prisoners of war and Polish citizens who had committed a criminal offence.

From April, 1942: arrival of the first transports with Jews on a large scale. Altogether, about 90.000 Jews were interned, mainly from Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and Austria, from which about 80.000 died of hunger, diseases, execution and gassing. (The gas chambers were operated from autumn 1942 until autumn 1943.)

From 1943: Majdanek is used as concentration camp also for political prisoners from Poland.

November 3rd, 1943: largest execution in the history of all NS concentration camps: execution of about 18.000 Jews in Majdanek.

July 23rd, 1944: Liberation of the camp by the Soviet army. Only 1.500 prisoners witness the release, since the SS had already started in the spring of 1944 to evacuate the prisoners into other camps. It remains impossible to name the total number of either the prisoners or the victims.

1975 - 1981: The so-called Majdanek trial against former members of the SS camp team of the concentration camp Majdanek is taking place in Düsseldorf, Germany. For the first time, Majdanek enters the German public consciousness.