Death Marches

By: Kathy Fiallo

What were Death Marches?

The Death Marches was when prisoners were forced to marching long distances, for a long period of time from concentration camps in Poland to the middle of Germany. The Germans attempted to do this as Allied countries including Britain, America, and the Soviets were closing in to the Nazi party. The SS evacuated the camps in order to remove eyewitness and to hind all the crimes that had been committed in the camps. Around 200,000 to 250,000 prisoners were forced to march. Those that were to weak to march were killed and left where ever they were killed. Around 1 in 4 people died during Death Marches.

Timeline

October, 1941

The concentration camp, Birkenau, opens.

January 17, 1945

The Death March from Birkenau to Wodzisław Śląski.

January 27, 1945

The Soviet Army liberates the remaining prisoners in Birkenau.

January 25, 1945

Death March from Stutthof begins. They got stopped in south Germany by the Soviet Army so they had to return back to Stutthof.

April 26, 1945

Death March from Dachau to Tegernsee begins.

April 29, 1945

Dachau gets liberated by American forces.

May 1945

Prisoner who walked in the Death March from Dachua to Tegernsee are liberated by American forces.

The Death March from Birkenau to Wodzisław Śląski

The Death March from Birkenau to Wodzisław Śląski was the largest Death March during the Holocaust. It started on January 17, 1945 with 58,000 prisoners walking from Birkenau to Wodzisław Śląski mainly by foot but they would at times ride carriages made for cattle. Around 15,000 prisoners died during the 35 mile march. Around 43,000 prisoners survived and arrived to Wodzisław Śląski where they were soon forced to march again to new camps.

Citations

"Encyclopedia Judaica:Death Marches." Death Marches. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Web. 19 May 2016.


Smith, Lyndia. "Auschwitz Liberation 70th Anniversary: History of the Holocaust Death Marches." International Business Times RSS. IBTimes., Co., Ltd., 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 21 May 2016.


"Timeline of Events." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial Council, n.d. Web. 21 May 2016.


History.com Staff. "Auschwitz." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 21 May 2016.


"Death Marches." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial Council, n.d. Web. 21 May 2016.