Death Marches

Holocaust Smore

A quote from Elie Wiesel.

And, in spite of myself, a prayer rose in my heart, to that God in whom I no longer believed. My God, Lord of the Universe, give me strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahou's son has done.

What are Death Marches?

Prisoners that were taken from the concentration camps were sent on what became known as "Death Marches" . Some of these groups were marched hundreds of miles. The prisoners were given little to no food and little to no shelter. Any prisoner who lagged behind or who tried to escape was shot.


During these death marches, the SS guards brutally mistreated the prisoners. Following their explicit orders, they shot hundreds of prisoners who collapsed or could not keep pace on the march, or who could no longer disembark from the trains or ships. Thousands of prisoners died of exposure, starvation, and exhaustion. Forced marches were especially common in late 1944 and 1945

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Holocaust Survivor Testimonies: The Death Marches

Total Deaths

Total World Population 2,296,000,000 in 1939

Total World Population 5,318,000,000 in 1989

Total World Jewish Population 16,648,000 in 1939

Total World Jewish Population 13,276,300 in 1989

The impacted on the Holocaust.

Although most of the prisoners were already very weak or ill after enduring the routine violence, overwork, and starvation of concentration camp or prison camp life, they were marched for miles in the snow to railway stations, then transported for days at a time without food, water, or shelter in freight carriages originally designed for cattle. On arrival at their destination, they were then forced to march again to new camps. Prisoners who were unable to keep up due to fatigue or illness were usually executed by gunshot.