- Located in a suburb of Lublin, Poland, Majdanek was initially constructed in the winter of 1940–1941 as both a labor and an extermination camp for Jews, Poles, and Soviet prisoners of war. In 1942, the first Jews arrived in the camp from Slovakia and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Subsequently, Jews from Belgium, France, Greece, the Netherlands, and Poland were sent to Majdanek. By the end of 1943, more than 125,000 of the 130,000 Jews in the camp were killed. In all, nearly 500,000 persons from 28 countries passed through the camp, with approximately 360,000 killed as a result of starvation, disease, and beatings, with about 40 percent exterminated in the gas chambers or through other forms of execution. Although Jews made up a minority of those killed in the camp, they made up a majority of the gassing victims. In addition, sadism among the guards was rampant toward the inmates, with reported cases of infants and children being killed before their mothers’ eyes. The most notorious act of murder at Majdanek was the mass shooting of 17,000 Jews on 3 November 1943.See also Death Camps.
Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. Jack R. Fischel. 2014.
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