The Nazi Death Marches

By: Nathan Stinson

The Nazi Death Marches were Terrible.

As you can see, The Nazi's were terrible people, forcing Jewish people to walk from their camps to be executed in order to remove "evidence". Many Jews actually died on the way to be executed but the Jews weren't even buried, just thrown to the side like in the picture above. And they walked in convoys of thousands of Jews, all marching to their same fate; Death.

Why Were the Nazis Transporting the Jews?

The Nazis were transporting the Jews for 3 Reasons:

  1. SS authorities did not want prisoners to fall into enemy hands alive to tell their stories to Allied and Soviet liberators

  2. The SS thought they needed prisoners to maintain production of armaments wherever possible

  3. some SS leaders, including Himmler, believed that they could use Jewish concentration camp prisoners as hostages to bargain for a separate peace in the west that would guarantee the survival of the Nazi regime.

Impact on the Holocaust

The Death Marches were pretty much sterilization. The Nazis didn't want the Jews to return to the Allies and explain what happened in the concentration camps. So they evacuated the prisons and transported the Jews to an empty field or something of the like. The Jews were then executed and disposed of. The Nazis saw this as removing "evidence" but even after the executing of many Jews, some were still able to escape and tell their story. The Death Marches made the Nazis look even worse, as their plan backfired.

The Route of the Death Marches

Interesting Facts

  • The Death Marches often lasted for weeks at a time. Up to 250,000 people died due to the appalling conditions they faced
  • After the war many hundreds of mass graves containing the victims were found along the routes of the marches.
  • In November 1944 some 70,000 Jews from Budapest were marched to Dachau (in Germany) and Mauthausen (in Austria). Many thousands were murdered on the way.

Primary Document of the Death Marches

Quote by Elie Wiesel

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

Elie Wiesel

This quote connects to the death marches because the Jews couldn't prevent what was happening, but they could stay alive, and hope they will survive.

Death Marches