About KZ Majdanek
KZ Majdanek was a Nazi concentration camp run by the Waffen-SS established near the city of Lublin in Poland in September 1941. From October 1941, KZ Majdanek began accepting prisoners, most of whom were Polish and other European Jews as well as Soviet prisoners of war. By the end of its period of operation, almost 30 nations would be represented within Majdanek’s barbed wire fences.
KZ Majdanek history
Those sent to KZ Majdanek were subject to the worst forms of treatment, including starvation, forced labour, malnutrition and random executions. Death from disease and starvation were not uncommon and the Nazis would take to shooting large groups of prisoners into vast pits. KZ Majdanek was also used as an extermination camp, with gas chambers and two crematoriums in which to kill victims and destroy their bodies.
Overall, by the time it was liberated by Soviet soldiers in 1944, 150,000 people had been incarcerated at KZ Majdanek. According to the latest figures, 78,000 people died at KZ Majdanek, of which 60,000 were Jews.
KZ Majdanek was liberated by Soviet soldiers on 23 July 1944. With its location relatively near to the Russian border, much of the camp remained intact upon its dissolution, the Nazis not having enough time to destroy any evidence.
KZ Majdanek today
Today, KZ Majdanek camp is part of the State Museum at Majdanek and stands as a memorial to those who suffered and perished there. The camp occupies half its original 2.7 kilometres and is mostly bare after a fire destroyed a wooden building in August 2010.
Visitors can see the camp as well as the visitor centre, which houses exhibits and information about the site. Although please note those under 14 cannot visit the camp.
Getting to KZ Majdanek
Once just over a mile outside the city of Lublin and now subsumed into the outer limits, KZ Majdanek is easily accessible by public transport. Take the 23 bus or 156 trolleybus from Krakowska Gate or from the railway station you can take bus 28. You can also drive to the museum along the road leading to Zamosc and Chelm (DK 12/17).
Explore the diverse history of Poland, from the great Barbakan to the beautiful Wilanow Palace, through our guide to 10 historic sites, landmarks and monuments to see when in Poland.