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Double-sided casting of a gas chamber door from Majdanek concentration camp

Object

Fiberglass casting of a metal gas chamber door at Majdanek killing center, commissioned by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for installation in the museum’s permanent exhibition. Construction on the gas chambers began in August 1942, and they were located just behind Barrack No. 41, which contained an undressing room and a main shower room. Off the main shower room were three smaller chambers, two of which were reconfigured for the use of Zyklon-B gas. In nearby Barrack No. 42 was another gas chamber, where Zyklon-B was used to delouse clothing. 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 gas chambers were 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.

Date
manufacture:  after 1989 August 15-before 1991 March 18
Geography
representation: Majdanek (Concentration camp); Lublin (Poland)
manufacture: West Sussex (England)
Language
German
Classification
Architectural Elements
Object Type
Door (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
 
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:24:46
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn14226