Collection of modern art at the State Museum at Majdanek includes works by Polish and foreign artists, such as paintings, graphics, sketches, sculptures, medals, photographs, art posters. The majority of them is devoted to martyrgom and anti-war themes. The collection is a result of many competitions and art exhibitions organized by the Museum, which were firstly entitled "Against War," then "International Triennal of Art at Majdanek."
The prisoners of Majdanek were required to adhere to multiple procedures associated with arriving at the camp. They were obligated to deposit their clothes and personal belongings which were stored in the movable property file (Effekten-Verzeichnis). A separate file was intended for accounting sums of money deposited by prisoners. As a valuable source material, it can be used to recreate fates of the camp prisoners.
A substantial part of the collections discovered during archaeological excavations in Sobibór is constituted by everyday objects, including residues from personal hygiene products such as: toothbrushes, empty tubes of toothpaste or shaving cream and the like.
A significant part of the Sobibór collection is constituted by personal belongings brought by prisoners to the camp, including a few remaining fragments of fountain pens.
Among many iron items found during archaeological excavations in Sobibór, a small plate with an inscription “Tragerplatte” can be found. This inconspicuous item constituted a part of a tourist portable cooker which was popular during World War II. A small, compact metallic box contained a package of fuel tablets which, after displacement of support partitions (from German “Tragerplatte”), formed a cooking facility.
The collection of contemporary art of the State Museum at Majdanek is closely connected with its history and character. The museum has been storing works of modern art since it was founded in November 1944.
June 9, 1987, is one of the most significant dates in the history of the State Museum at Majdanek. On that day the former German Nazi concentration camp at Majdanelk was visited by Pope John Paul II.
Krzysztof and Andrzej Korczak from Warsaw donated to the State Museum at Majdanek the family records dedicated to their grandmother, Dr. Stefania Perzanowska. She was one of the most merited prisoners of the Majdanek concentration camp, where she set up a camp hospital for female patients. The collection includes more than 500 original documents dated from 1911 to 1974, relics and 15 scans of photographs.
Lublin played a special role in the “final solution of the Jewish question.” It served as the command and logistics centre for the "Aktion Reinhardt" aimed at the liquidation of the Jews in General Government. Odilo Globocnik, the SS and police commander in the Lublin district, was responsible for its implementation. His tasks included establishing death camps, deporting Jews and taking over their property in favour of the Third Reich.
This publication documents an open-air exhibition organized by the State Museum at Majdanek in 2012 to mark the 70th anniversary of Jews extermination in the course of “Aktion Reinhardt.”
The code name "Operation Reinhardt” was used in the context of the Holocaust not earlier then by June 1942, when the extermination of Jews had already been lasting. It was introduced to pay tribute to Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) and one of the main executors of the plan to exterminate all Jews being under German control, who was shot by the Czech resistance movement.
Marking the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the German ghettos for Jews in Lublin, the exhibition “Districts of Extermination” consists of 15 display boards. They are located in the area of the Old Town where one of the two “Jewish residential districts” existed in the occupied city. The exhibition presents photographs and historical documents from Polish and foreign archives, as well as private collections and fragments of accounts.
A spoon, a metal camp number, fragments of matzevots – these are some of the objects which were found by the staff of Collections Department as a result of periodic inspections of the grounds of the State Museum at Majdanek. During such works about 50 objects related to functioning of the Majdanek concentration camp were found in 2016.
The collections of the State Museum at Majdanek were enriched with extremely interesting and valuable materials relating to Helena Pawluk née Błeszyńska, a former prisoner of the Majdanek concentration camp and the prison at the Lublin Castle. The donated collection includes documents, photographs and personal items belonging to Helena Pawluk. Her grandson, Mr. Wojciech Pawluk, is the donor.
In the historical archives of the State Museum at Majdanek, there is a certain highly interesting collection, which stands out from the other materials documenting the history of KL Lublin in terms of both its form and content.
The National Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Nazi Concentration Camps is celebrated on 14 June. On that day, the Polish Association of Former Political Prisoners of Nazi Prisons and Concentration Camps marks its 70th anniversary. The meeting will be an opportunity to recall the activities of the Association for the inhabitants of Lublin who were repressed by the Germans during World War II.
In early spring 1942, before the first mass transport of Jews from Slovakia arrived to the concentration camp at Majdanek, the camp administration received special forms for the inventory of the prisoners’ belongings, including civil clothing, daily necessities and valuables.
On July 13, 1943, Kazimierz Kobuz (alias Kazimierz) sent a report on the situation in the camp to the OPUS headquarters. His report included:
On July 2, 1943, the camp fields filled up with hundreds of prisoners from the pacified Zamość region. There are many documents preserved that concern this group of detainees, including 64 money records. 28 of them are related to inhabitants of Aleksandrów. Agnieszka Koman, born 1904 in Aleksandrów, was marked with the highest number on that day – 15350. She was released from the camp on August 8, 1943.
On June 28, 1942, Adolf Gokorsch, a 43-years-old German criminal from Vienna, was registered in the Majdanek camp. Previously, he had been detained in Dachau, where he was marked camp number 341. At Majdanek he was marked with camp number 108. According to his money records, he – similarly to many German prisoners – made some deposits and withdrawals from his account.
On June 9, 1942, Józef Czerwisiński (Czerkawski) from Lublin was detained in the Majdanek camp. He was marked with camp number 4737 that earlier had been given to another prisoner. He was most probably released from the camp on September 8, 1942.
On June 2, 1943, 9 women from Lublin were detained in the Majdanek camp. Among them, there was Maria Wolf, born 1917, who was marked with number 12138 in KL Lublin. As majority of her companions in misery, she was transported to Ravensbrück on April 19, 1944.
22 maja 1944 r. komendant obozu KL Lublin wydał rozkaz nr 1944/3, w którym odnosił się m.in. do ucieczki więźniów z 15 maja 1944 r. W rozkazie tym możemy przeczytać, że zaostrzono przepisy odnośnie poruszania się samochodami w obrębie obozu. Od tej pory prowadzić pojazdy mogli wyłącznie kierowcy SS posiadający prawo jazdy wydane przez WVHA (SS-Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt – Główny Urząd Gospodarki i Administracji SS).
On May 22, 1942, a group of Polish prisoners from the Lublin region was brought to the Majdanek concentration camp. They were arrested in Lubartów and its surroundings, and then transported to Lublin. Some of prisoners were given numbers that had been used before in the Majdanek camp – e.g., Maksymilian Jałocha was given number 5426, but most of them were given new numbers above 8300.