The photo below shows the Mausoleum at the Majdanek Memorial Site. According to the Majdanek Museum guidebook, the ashes under the dome are the ashes of the victims who were shot on “bloody Wednesday,” the third of November, 1943. This was the largest mass execution carried out at any of the concentration camps in the history of the Holocaust. The victims were the last remnants of the Jewish population in the Lublin district.
Daniel Goldhagen wrote in his book entitled “Hitler’s Willing Executioners,” that there were 43,000 Jews killed on Nov. 3rd and 4th, 1943 in the action called “Erntefest” (Harvest Festival in English). According to Goldhagen’s book, “this was the largest single shooting massacre of the war.”
According to the web site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, on the occasion of the “Harvest Festival,” the SS and police killed about 42,000 Jews, which included the killing of between 11,000 and 16,000 Jews at Poniatowa and between 4,000 and 6,000 Jews at Trawniki. The USHMM says that Himmler ordered the implementation of Operation “Harvest Festival” because he feared more incidents of armed Jewish resistance after the prisoner uprising at the Sobibor killing center. (more…)