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23.07.2019

Celebration of the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of Konzentrationslager Lublin

On July 22, 2019, the State Museum at Majdanek celebrated the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of Konzentrationslager Lublin – a German concentration camp.

The celebrations began with the march of the participants of the ceremony along the Road of Homage and Remembrance from the Gate-Monument to the Mausoleum. It was attended by: representatives of central and local authorities, the diplomatic corps, former prisoners of the German concentration camp at Majdanek and families of former prisoners, museum employees, delegations and residents of Lublin. In this symbolic way the victims of the camp as well as those who survived were commemorated.

The rest of the ceremony took place at the foot of the Mausoleum. Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, prof. dr. hab. Piotr Gliński recalled what events took place in KL Lublin that day 75 years ago. Minister said: "May I be allowed today, on behalf of the government of the Republic of Poland, to express the greatest honor to all those who have gone through the hell of German Nazi concentration and extermination camps and those who experienced later post-camp trauma. To all those who do not let us forget about this tragic card in the history".

The speech on behalf of former prisoners was given by Mr. Zdzisław Badio. The head of the Lublin branch of the Polish Association of Former Political Prisoners of Nazi Prisons and Concentration Camps said: "We, former prisoners of the Majdanek concentration camp, our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents. On behalf of our own and those whose ashes are here, we ask you to remember us but also to forgive, because reconciliation is possible only through forgiveness. Please, remember”.

Ewa Sztaba-Chmielarz, daughter of the camp doctor Romuald Sztaba, as a representative of the families of former prisoners said: "There is no present without the past. We are a part of this present. By holding the past and talking about it, we co-create the present. May our voice from generation to generation go".

The director of the State Museum at Majdanek, dr. Tomasz Kranz, emphasized in his speech how important it is to maintain the memory: “Time for silence has not yet come. Now we and the next generations are obliged to bear witness”.

The next part of the ceremony was the ecumenical prayer recited by: Symcha Krzysztof Keller, rabbi of the Jewish Religious Community; Archbishop Abel, the hierarch of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church; Jan Cieślar, bishop of the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in the Republic of Poland and Mieczysław Cisło, bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.

At the end, the participants laid wreaths as homage to the victims of the Majdanek camp.

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