As many as two million Jews were sent to Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka, extermination camps set up specifically for Operation Reinhard, to be put to death in gas chambers built for that purpose.In addition, mass killing facilities using Zyklon B were developed at about the same time within the Majdanek concentration camp and at Auschwitz II-Birkenau near the existing Auschwitz I camp for Polish prisoners.
Also part of Operation Reinhard were several forced-labor camps for Jews in District Lublin, including Poniatowa, the Trawniki forced-labor camp, Budzyn, Krasnik, and the Lublin/Majdanek camp before its formal conversion into a concentration camp in February 1943. For a time, Majdanek also served as a killing site for Jews whom the SS could no longer kill at Belzec in the late autumn of 1942.
The crematorium at Majdanek concentration camp, Lublin, Nazi-occupied Poland, 1944. The liberation of Lublin in Poland by the Soviet Red Army in July 1944 also revealed a huge concentration camp and extermination camp, where the Nazis carried out mass murder on a vast scale. Victims of the camp included Poles, Jews of all nationalities, French, Greeks, Dutch, Italians, Belgians, Yugoslavians, Hungarians and anti-Nazi Republican Spaniards.
Оmelyan Kovch (1884 — 1944) was a Ukrainian Greek-Catholic priest. In December 30, 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo for harboring Jews, specifically for providing Jews with more than 600 baptismal certificates. In August 1943 after refusing to sign a pledge about refusing to help others he was deported to Majdanek. On March 25, 1944 he was gassed at Majdanek concentration camp.
A unique case of war criminal: Hermann Florstedt (1895–1945), was an SS captain who held senior positions at Sachsenhausen and Majdanek concentration camps. Suspected of profiteering, he was eventually arrested after an SS investigation, was tried and sentenced to death, and was shot on April 15, 1945. Florstedt was charged with embezzlement and arbitrarily killing prisoner witnesseses (!!!!). He is the only known SS to have been put to death for killing camp inmates.
Pictured is Karl Otto Koch, the first Commandant of the Majdanek camp. Koch had previously been the Commandant of Buchenwald, but he was sent to Majdanek as punishment after he was arrested in Weimar for non-payment of taxes. In 1943, he was brought back to Weimar and put on trial by SS Judge Georg Konrad Morgen on charges of ordering the murder of two prisoners at Buchenwald and taking bribes from Jewish prisoners. He was convicted and executed by the Nazis before the end of the war.
Hildegard Martha Lächert (January 20, 1920 in Berlin – 1995) was a notorious female guard, Aufseherin, at several German World War II concentration camps. She became publicly known for her service at Ravensbrück, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau. After the war she spent 27 years in prison altogether for her brutal treatment of inmates during her camp service.