Lublin marks anniversary of Nazi German death camp liquidation
Poland's eastern city of Lublin on Wednesday marked the 76th anniversary of the liquidation of Majdanek, a death camp where Nazi Germans killed around 80,000 people, including 60,000 Jews between 1941 and 1944.
Local officials and Majdanek Museum employees laid flowers at the Mausoleum containing ashes of the camp victims to mark the anniversary. Official state ceremonies were not organised this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Most prisoners died due to the living conditions. Hard work, hunger and suffering caused high mortality rates. It was extremely difficult to survive Majdanek," deputy director of Majdanek Museum, Wieslaw Wysok, told reporters.
"The grounds of Majdanek do not let us forget where contempt and hatred of man towards man, nation towards nation, may lead to. We need to recall this over and over again," Wysok added.
Majdanek, or KL Lublin, was a Nazi German extermination camp on the outskirts of the city of Lublin during the World War Two German occupation of Poland. Initially a camp for forced labourers, Majdanek was used to kill people on an industrial scale during Operation Reinhard, the German plan to exterminate all Jews within the General Government territory of Poland. The camp operated from October 1, 1941, until July 22, 1944, when it was abandoned by the Germans nearly intact in the face of the rapid advance of the Soviet Red Army.
Some 80,000 people are believed to have lost their lives at Majdanek from starvation, disease and overwork as well as executions and in the gas chambers. About 60,000 of them were Jews brought to the camp from all over Europe.