Death Marches Research

By: Julia Marie Kjelland

What were the Death Marches?

Near the end of the war, the Nazi's closed all of the concentration camps that held all of the prisoners. The Allied forces began to enter Germany from all sides. The Germans tried to move all of the prisoners so the Allied forces couldn't take them. They had to walk great distances with little to no food or water, this walks were called the "Death Marches". They had to walk in the harsh conditions of winter, and those who stopped to rest were shot. They also shot large numbers of them before, during, and after the marches. Some of the groups of prisoners were moved just so they could be killed.

Timeline:

  • January 18, 1945 - The Death Marches from the Auschwitz camp begins.
  • January 25, 1945 - The Death March and evacuation from Stuffhof concentration
  • April 7, 1945 - The Death March from the Buchenwald concentration camp
  • April 26, 1945 - The Death March from Dachau Camp


Although many prisoners were shot because they could not keep up, prisoners also died from hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and exposure.

Stuffhof Death March:

The evacuation of the Stuffhof camp in Northern Poland began in January of 1945. In the final evacuation, there were 50,000 prisoners, most of which were Jews. About 5,000 prisoners from sub camps were taken to the Baltic Sea were they were forced to enter the water and they were killed my machine guns. The other prisoners were marching to Lauenburg, where they were intercepted by the Soviet forces. They were then taken back to Stuffhof. In April, 1945 the prisoners were evacuated by sea. They were either forced into the water and killed, taken to Germany, taken to another concentration camp, or they drowned on the way there. Stuffhof was liberated on May 9, 1945 by the Soviet Forces, but only about 100 prisoners were at the camp.