Majdanek (KL Lublin), now a Museum, is located on the outskirts of the city of Lublin, Poland.
I have heard, read and watched so much about the Holocaust. I have visited so many museums in different countries. To visit this place (hard for me to call it Museum), was something I wanted to do and planned to do it while making my itinerary trip to Poland. I was lucky because I did the visit with a local historian during a summer sunny day. If you think of visiting this place in winter think twice.
I chose Majdanek and not any other camp because I wanted to go through the experience without having tourists around all the time. I guess it was a smart decision.
“The pedagogy of remembrance is the basis for the educational work of the State Museum at Majdanek. It involves active learning and familiarization with history at an authentic place”.
The State Museum at Majdanek was founded in November 1944. It is therefore the first martyrdom museum and the oldest memorial to the victims of Nazism in Europe at the site of a former German concentration camp. The institution protects the places and artifacts connected with the functioning of the camp at Majdanek and the extermination centers in Belzec and Sobibor, and conducts exhibition, scientific, and educational work.
In total, the Museum collections number almost 350 thousands artifacts.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
In barracks 47, “Shrine” (sacred place) is a symbolic artistic installation (by Tadeusz Mysłowski) to pay tribute to anonymous victims of Majdanek.
Combining such elements as sculpture, drawing, text and music, it creates a specific “light and sound” performance inside a historic barracks. There are fifty balls made of barbed wire that you can still see despite the dark lights.
The artistic forms are completed with atmospheric music accompanied by the sound of quiet prayers of different religions and Majdanek prisoners´ reminiscences in various languages.
Yes, “Shrine” is a tough but still beautiful experience. The best is when you go out and you see a striking blue sky and you breathe fresh air before moving on to the next barracks.
Polish, Hebrew and English can be found in almost every explanation board.
Final view before leaving... The Mausoleum erected in 1969 contains ashes and remains of cremated victims, collected into a mound after liberation of the camp in 1944.