In 1939 the second world war broke out. The history of this war is also the history of lives of children who were forced to work, were taken away from their parents and were tortured to death in concentration camps. One of those places was Majdanek camp. The lives of Belorussian, Polish and Jewish children are connected with the camp. Big part of them were of age to go to school with "The Primer" in their schoolbags.
It is "The Primer" that teaches a child to organise and describe the world. It contains the simplest social categories that form the basis for relations between man and the outside world. The main characteristic of "The Primer" is that it presents the world without cruelty and evil. The children were "dragged out" from this simple and naive world of "The Primer", and "brought into" the "Camp World". It was the world with entirely different "Primer" - the Death Camp Primer.
The exhibition presents the lives of four children imprisoned in Majdanek (Jewish: HALINA BIRENBAUM and HENRYK ŻYTOMIRSKI; Belorussian: PIOTR KIRYSZCZENKO; Polish: JANINA BUCZEK-RÓŻAŃSKA). One of them was killed in the camp - Henio Żytomirski.
The story of, most probably, a Jewish girl - El?unia, is presented in a symbolic way.
The slip of paper with the poem was hidden in a shoe found in Majdanek. The girl wrote that she was nine years old, and she was singing the song to a melody of : "Z popielnika na Wojtusia iskiereczka mruga" [a nursery rhyme]
Basic information about the camp and the children's lives in Majdanek are presented in two small barrack rooms before entrance to the exhibition. A clear difference between the lives of Jewish children and children of other nationalities (Belorussian and Polish children) is presented there. The Jewish children were to be exterminated from the very beginning.
The exhibition in the barrack is divided into two parts separated with the wall: