Nederlands Holocaust in Europe Auschwitz

Death march

In October 1944, Himmler ordered to discontinue using the gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau (at the beginning of October around 40,000 people were still murdered there) and all work activities ceased. Afterwards, the nazis began the systematic liquidation of the camp. Around half of the remaining 155,000 prisoners were brought to concentration camps in the west: Buchenwald, Flossenb├╝rg, Dachau, Mauthausen, and Bergen-Belsen. That's how the two sisters, Anne and Margot Frank, who were deported from the Dutch transit camp Westerbork to Auschwitz in the last transport in September 1944, ended up around one month later in Bergen-Belsen. On 17 January 1945, the Germans began the second and final evacuation phase of the camp complex. Approximately 58,000 people, mostly from Monowitz and the satellite camps had to move westward. A small number of people were transported by railway in freight wagons, but the majority had to march through the winter cold. Thousands died during the death march. Whoever had no strength left, wanted to rest, or tried to escape was shot and killed on the spot. Many froze or starved to death on the way.


11_Deathmarches-clandestine
  1. A photo taken secretly of a death march through a German village, April 1945.
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