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Casting of a concrete and metal dissecting table from the crematorium building at Majdanek concentration camp


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    Brief Narrative
    Fiberglass casting of a dissection table at Majdanek killing center, commissioned by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for installation in the museum’s permanent exhibition. The dissection table was located in a separate room within the crematorium building, and was used to extract gold dental fillings and other valuables from victims after their bodies were removed from the gas chambers. The construction of Majdanek, in German-occupied Poland, began in the fall of 1941, following SS chief Heinrich Himmler’s July 1941 order to establish a concentration camp in Lublin to provide forced labor for SS projects. From spring 1942 to February 1943, Majdanek was used as a forced-labor camp and storage facility for stolen personal items under Operation Reinhard (Aktion Reinhard). Operation Reinhard was a code name for the plan to kill the two million Jews who resided in specific areas of German-occupied Poland. Majdanek also served as a killing site, after the installation of gas chambers was completed in October 1942. In response to Jewish resistance and uprisings at other ghettos and camps, SS and police units shot 18,000 Jewish prisoners and forced laborers outside of Majdanek on November 3, 1943. This was the largest single-day, single-location killing, known as “Aktion Erntefest" (Operation Harvest Festival) of the Holocaust. Majdanek continued operations until spring 1944, when the camp was evacuated ahead of the arrival of Soviet troops in July 1944. Majdanek was the first major camp to be liberated, but Germany continued to occupy Poland until January 1945.
    manufacture:  after 1989 August 15-before 1991 March 18
    representation: Majdanek (Concentration camp); Lublin (Poland)
    manufacture: West Sussex (England)
    Manufacturer: Edward Lawrence Associates (Export) Limited

    Physical Details

    Furnishings and Furniture
    Object Type
    Slab tables (aat)
    Physical Description
    Painted, fiber glass casting of a concrete and metal dissecting table.

    a. Long, rectangular table with tray style top, a raised edge with a lip in some places, and a slightly concave surface that slopes inward towards a central drainage hole. Attached to the bottom of the drainage hole is a large pipe that extends down, approximately two feet, to the floor between the two block supports (b and c). A narrow pipe runs around the inside of the raised, lipped edge of the table. On one short end, the pipe has a tee fitting with the center projecting upwards and capped by a plug fitting. The table is painted to resemble variety of stains, scratches, and cracks visible on the original concrete surface. The pipes are painted to resemble cast iron. The casting includes a large crack at one corner and smaller cracks around the raised edge, reflecting the condition of the original.
    b. The front block support for the tabletop (a) is large, rectangular, solid in appearance, and separated from the rear block support (c) by a narrow gap. A narrow pipe emerges from the floor in front of the support, and extends upwards partway towards the tabletop. Another L-shaped section of pipe is attached near the top of the block. The support is painted to resemble the original stained concrete and metal.
    c. The rear block support for the tabletop (a) is large, rectangular, solid in appearance, and separated from the front block support (b) by a narrow gap. It is painted to resemble the original stained concrete.
    a: Height: 5.875 inches (14.923 cm) | Width: 93.000 inches (236.22 cm) | Depth: 36.250 inches (92.075 cm)
    b: Height: 26.500 inches (67.31 cm) | Width: 27.250 inches (69.215 cm) | Depth: 38.500 inches (97.79 cm)
    c: Height: 27.000 inches (68.58 cm) | Width: 26.750 inches (67.945 cm) | Depth: 39.250 inches (99.695 cm)
    overall : fiberglass, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Lublin (Poland)

    Administrative Notes

    The dissecting table casting was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991.
    Primary Number
    CA91.1.3 a-c
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 17:51:24
    This page:

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