New temporary exhibition "The Displaced from the Zamość Region in the Majdanek Camp"
This summer the 75th anniversary of the displacement of the Polish families from the Zamość Region to the German concentration camp at Majdanek is marked. On 28 April we have opened a new exhibition devoted to the tragic fates of the region inhabitants who were detained in KL Lublin in June and July 1943.
The opening of the exhibition by Krzysztof Banach, Marta Grudzińska and Anna Wójcik was held as part of Season Lublin events. It was an occasion to hear Stanisława Kruszewska - a former Majdanek prisoner who, along with her family, was displaced from Dereźnia Solska and detained in the camp in July 1943. The conversation was preceded with a lecture by dr Beata Kozaczyńska on fates of children deported from the Zamość region.
The exhibition consists of archival photographs and historical documents, including those belonging to private collections of the former Majdanek prisoners. They are supplemented with photographs of items related to their stay in the camp and fragments of their memoirs.
The experimental phase of the so-called Master Plan for the East (Generalplan Ost) began in 1941. This long‑term program of settlement and colonization of territories of Central and Eastern Europe, designed to cover the area from Transylvania to the Baltic countries, aimed at gaining more “living space” for the Germans. This meant massive deportations and resettlements of millions of people. It is estimated that in the years 1941–1943 a total of nearly 100,000 people from the Zamość region were subjected to displacement actions.
The first stage of the operation was carried out in November 1941, another one from November 1942 to March 1943. After examinations carried out in the resettlement camp in Zamość, the displaced persons were deported either to KL Auschwitz or to the Reich for forced labour. The children who fulfilled Nazi racial criteria were taken away from their parents and chosen to undergo Germanisation, while those deemed “racially worthless” were sent to other parts of the General Government.
The last stage of displacements was carried out from June 24 to August 1943. As a result, 9,000 women, men and children from the pre-war counties of Zamość, Biłgoraj and Tomaszów were deported into KL Lublin.