First transport of Jews reaches Majdanek extermination camp

The first persons deported to the Waffen-SS concentration and extermination camp on the outskirts of Lublin, Poland, were prisoners of war. The true functions of the camp, however, were to remove and exterminate enemies of the Third Reich, to exterminate Jews, and to assist in the deportation and resettlement of the inhabitants of the Zamosc region. The camp was ringed with a high-tension electrified double barbed-wire fence punctuated by 18 watchtowers. Adjoining the camp and its gas chambers were workshops, warehouses, a laundry, and other facilities. The SS’s residential section of the camp also had a casino. On 12 December 1941, the first group of Jews was deported to Majdanek: 150 men who had been captured in a manhunt in the Lublin ghetto. By 6 January 1945, just 17 of them were still alive, and were liberated from the camp by an order of the German Labor Ministry in Lublin. Between 22 February and 9 November 1942, at least 4000 Jews from Lublin were murdered in Majdanek.