Poland commemorates Majdanek concentration camp victims

A commemorative ceremony marking the July 22, 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the Nazi German concentration camp Majdanek near Lublin, eastern Poland, took place on the historical site on Monday.

The ceremony was attended by, among other guests, German Ambassador to Poland Rolf Nikel and Deputy PM Piotr Gliński, who said that the state was taking due care of sites of extermination.

The deputy PM recalled that a museum devoted to the former extermination camp had opened in Majdanek as early as November 1944, which makes it the oldest WWII commemorative site in Europe.

Majdanek was a Nazi German extermination camp on the outskirts of the city of Lublin, created during WWII. Initially a camp for forced labourers, Majdanek was the site of genocide under Operation Reinhard, the German plan to exterminate all Jews within the General Government territory of Poland.

The camp operated from October 1, 1941, until July 22, 1944, when it was abandoned nearly intact by the retreating Germans, facing the rapid offensive of the Soviet Red Army.

The death toll in Majdanek amounted to 80,000 people, about 60,000 of them were Jews transported to the camp from all over German-occupied Europe.