Majdanek was a much smaller camp than Auschwitz. It received far fewer deportation trains and claimed far fewer victims. Between January and October 1943, at least 16,000 Jews perished here, many of them in gas chambers. But on 3 November 1943, Majdanek became the site of the largest single massacre in a concentration camp: the SS murdered 8,000 Jewish inmates and 10,000 Jews from outside, after SS leader Heinrich Himmler ordered the slaughter of Jews in the district. One of the killers, Johann B., described the murders in a TV documentary broadcast in 1984.
There were young ones, too. Many young women came up to us and said, “Why? What have we ever done to you?” I said, “I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do.” There were men, women and children. They were separated, the men and women. And they did curse us. They cursed us, and some came at us with raised fists. And they yelled, “Nazi pigs.” You can hardly blame them. We might have done the same thing, if we’d been the ones feeling the heat.
Source: E. Mailänder, Female SS Guards and Workday Violence (East Lansing, 2015), p. 169