On the International Holocaust Remembrance Day we commemorate the 6,000,000 Jews murdered by the Nazi Germany during World War II. The number includes the victims of operation "Reinhardt" - the mass extermination of Jews in the General Government.
Is the concept of architecture relevant with regards to the German Nazi extermination camps – places where the SS-men destroyed nearly the entire infrastructure used in the mass extermination of Jews persecuted by the Third Reich? Were there any differences between the spatial organisation of concentration and extermination camps? Should historical objects in sites like Bełżec, Sobibór, Treblinka, or Majdanek be subjected to reconstruction?
“The transport was very tough. It was winter – 20 degrees of frost.” – as recalled by Leszek Zabłocki. Exactly 80 years ago the first group of Polish political prisoners, sent from the Gestapo Pawiak prison arrived at the Majdanek concentration camp
Historical debates, conferences, educational seminars, film projects, and exhibitions –events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the operation “Reinhardt” were at the centre of activities held by the State Museum at Majdanek in 2022.
Throughout 2022, the Education Department at the State Museum at Majdanek prepared and carried out over 190 various educational activities for 5100 people from Poland and abroad.
Four objects from our textiles collection of more than 5,000 pieces underwent full conservation in an external studio this year. The State Museum at Majdanek regularly preserves the prisoner clothing from its collections. This time some civilian clothes with prisoner markings – two jackets and two pairs of trousers – have undergone this kind of work.
Just before the very end of 2022, we hand to our readers two publications: “Majdanek. Obóz koncentracyjny w relacjach więźniów i świadków” [Majdanek. Concentration Camp in the Survivors' and Witnesses' Testimonies] and “Architektura nazistowskich obozów zagłady w Bełżcu, Sobiborze i Treblince” [The Architecture of the Nazi Death Camps in Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka].
The State Museum at Majdanek and the prison in Opole Lubelskie announced the winners of the art and poetry competition entitled “Their ashes stayed between heaven and earth” organised on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Operation “Reinhardt”. Among the awarded artworks were drawings, paintings, and poems based on the elements of memoirs of the Jewish prisoners of Majdanek – Halina Birenbaum, Bluma Szadur, and Jerzy Pfeffer.
In cooperation with the Warsaw Center for Education and Social Innovations and Trainings (WCIES) we organised a special study tour for teachers of history, civics, Polish, science, and other subjects. The main elements of the training included exploring unusual methods of talking about the past, ways of working with the youth in museums – memorials, as well as the exchanging of pedagogical experiences.
The academic conference "German camps in the years 1939-1945 - current research fields and results" organised by the Wojciech Kętrzyński Northern Institute in Olsztyn was held last week. Among over 40 panellists presenting lectures on various sites that are forever marked by the tragic history of the German occupation during World War II, there were also the representatives of our institution.
On November 9, 2022, the representatives of the Austrian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Director of the Mauthausen Memorial Barbara Glück visited the State Museum at Majdanek and the Museum and Memorial in Sobibór.
On November 9-11, 1942, the functionaries of the German Security Police and the Security Service conducted the final liquidation of the ghetto liquidation at Majdan Tatarski in Lublin.
On the 79th anniversary of operation “Erntefest”, we commemorated the 42,000 Jewish children, women, and men who were murdered by the German SS and police functionaries in the Majdanek German Nazi concentration camp and in the forced labour camps in Trawniki and Poniatowa.
We would like to invite you to the next edition of the All Souls’ Day at Majdanek – a series of meetings commemorating the former prisoners of Majdanek. This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of Stanisław Boroń. The remarkable history lesson will take place on Thursday, 10 November 2022, 12:30 p.m., at the Visitor Service Centre.
The registration for the international academic conference entitled Operation “Reinhardt” and the Destruction of Polish Jews has just begun.
Last Saturday, on 22 October, a methodological training course for teachers was held at the State Museum at Majdanek. It was entitled “I’d like to write so much to you... – illegal correspondence of the prisoners of the concentration camp in Lublin as an unusual historical source’ in the State Museum at Majdanek.”
New extended gas chambers building became operational in the German death camp SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor in October 1942.
On the 80th anniversary of operation "Reinhardt" - the mass extermination of Polish Jews conducted by Nazi Germany on the territories of occupied Poland. The State Museum at Majdanek, the emeinsam Erinnern für eine Europäische Zukunft association from Münster, and the Alter Schlachthof memorial in Düsseldorf organised a historical-educational seminar.
"Einsatz Reinhardt" - under this very codename the German and Austrian Nazis operating in the occupied Poland murdered 2,000,000 Jewish women, children, and men. Bełżec, Sobibór, Treblinka, Majdanek - these places have forever been marked with the tragic history of World War II and the Holocaust.
On the eve of the 78th anniversary of the final liquidation of KL Lublin on July 22 we release a new issue of our "Varia" magazine. It is available in both Polish and English version.
This year, on the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of the German Nazi Concentration Camps and Death Camps we focused on the former prisoners of the camp. Their personal experiences of the war's horror are described as a warning to the future generations - both in the form of direct meetings and as written accounts.
We are pleased to announce another debate in the series entitled: Operation "Reinhardt" - what happened in the Lublin region 80 years ago?
On June 6 we opened our new outdoor exhibition in Przemyśl. It is devoted to operation "Reinhardt". On the 80th anniversary of this mass murder programme we want to describe the historical framework of those tragic events by presenting the exhibition in several cities of Poland. Each and every of them was marked with deportations and human suffering of those persecuted by Nazi Germany during World War II.