Majdanek Museum and Memorial

Having travelled by “private” Mercedes minibus to Zamosc yesterday , I woke to a dull wet day and for a few minutes, flecks of snow! I resorted to TripAdvisor for recommendations on things to do around Lublin that involved Museums. As it turned out the top site on the list was the Majdanek Memorial and Museum. The second most recommended thing to do in Lublin was to explore the local equivalent of the Westfield Shopping Complex. Truely! By the time I had showered and had a presumably Jewish breakfast, the rain and snow had stopped. The Majdanek Museum was in fact a former German Nazi concentration camp. It occupied an area of 270 hectares or 2.8 sq km! This was divided into 5 fields each containing 2 rows of prisoner huts and a middle open space between each double row for assembly, roll calls. Around the perimeter of electrified barb wire double fences were huts and barracks for workshops, the SS Guards not to mention the bathroom halls, gas Chambers and crematorium. It was ghastly in the extreme.

All I can say is that it was somber and sobering. I shall leave the few pictures I took tell the story of mans’ Inhumanity to man. I was numb physically from the freezing cold and mentally from disbelieve at the site and the it’s cruelty.

The entrance with its Monument Gate – marking the historical entrance to the original camp. The sculpture is a symbolic entrance alluding to Dante’s Gates of Hell.

From here there is a wide road – the Road of Homage, to an immense circular mausoleum under which is a huge mound of earth containing soil and ashes of many of the victims. It is set out somewhat along the same lines as the Anzac Parade from the War Memorial to Parliament House in Canberra. The circular mausoleum like a giant saucer can be seen in the distance.

Part of the bathroom washing sheds. Taps which feed rows of shower heads along the ceiling. The initial stream was icy cold followed by several seconds later, water at boiling temperature. Inmates were then “drenched ” by immersion in the cement tubs containing carbolic acid solution.

Gas cylinders that fed the poisonous fumes into the gas chamber. Note the small window and grill through which I presume the executioners could quickly check on their deadly progress.

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