Scrapbookpages Blog

March 29, 2014

What was the purpose of the death marches out of the concentration camps?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 12:58 pm

Last night, during a conversation with a teen-aged visitor to my home, the subject of the “death marches” out of the Nazi concentration camps came up.  My young visitor had noticed that, on my library shelf, I have a copy of a huge book which gives the several versions of the Anne Frank diary side by side.

The sight of this book prompted my young visitor to mention that she had studied the Anne Frank Diary in school, and that a Holocaust survivor, who had a number tattooed on the inside of her left arm, had recently given a talk at her school.

At this point, I told her that the tattoo was an indication that the survivor had been a prisoner at Auschwitz, because the Auschwitz camp was the only place where the prisoners were tattooed.  This was news to her; the Holocaust survivor had not mentioned this.

Then my young visitor told me that the Holocaust survivor, who spoke at her school, had said that she had been taken on a march out of Auschwitz.  On the march, she had been forced to walk for miles, barefoot through the snow.  When the march ended, the prisoners were allowed to escape, running through the snow, into the arms of soldiers who liberated them.

The story of marching barefoot through the snow resonated with me because many other survivors of Auschwitz have told stories about how the German soldiers, who led the marches out of Auschwitz, walked ahead of the prisoners, tramping down the two feet of snow, so that the women and children could walk better.  The women and children were given a head start, so that they would not have to keep up with the men, who could walk faster.

I have also heard stories about how the women were taken to the clothing warehouses, known as Canada, where they were allowed to select a nice pair of boots for the march.

This is the first time that I have heard that the prisoners were marched barefoot out of Auschwitz.  The women were wearing shoes, while they were prisoners at Auschwitz, but according to this survivor, they were apparently told to take off their shoes so that they could march barefoot through the snow.

Some Holocaust survivors say that the purpose of a “death march” was to kill the prisoners by marching them to death.  Holocaust deniers say that the purpose was to take the prisoners to other camps, where they could be put to work.

I decided to look it up on Wikipedia, where I found a page entitled Death marches (Holocaust).

This quote is from Wikipedia:

Death marches (Todesmärsche in German) refer to the forcible movements of prisoners in Nazi Germany. They occurred at various points during the Holocaust, including in 1939 in the Lublin province of Poland, in 1942 in Ukraine, and between Autumn 1944 and late April 1945 from Nazi concentration camps and prisoner of war camps near the front, to camps inside Germany away from front lines and Allied forces to remove evidence from concentration camps and to prevent the repatriation

The photo below is on the page entitled “Deach marches.” The caption on the photo is this:

Dachau concentration camp inmates on a death march, April 1945, photographed walking through a German village, heading in the direction of Wolfratshausen, Bavaria.

450px-Death_march_from_Dachau

Were the prisoners, shown in the photo above, really marched out of the Dachau camp to “to remove evidence from concentration camps and to prevent the repatriation”? In the photo, it appears that the prisoners are walking through the rain, wearing shoes and some kind of rain gear.

Would marching the prisoners out of Dachau remove the evidence of the Dachau gas chamber?  Wouldn’t it have been easier to blow up the gas chamber inside the Dachau camp?

Why take a chance on one of these prisoners escaping the march, and living to tell about the gas chamber and other atrocities committed at Dachau?

Other sources, including my website, claim that these prisoners were marched out of Dachau to prevent them from killing Germany civilians in the vicinity of the town of Dachau.

Holocaust deniers claim that prisoners were marched out of Auschwitz, not for the purpose of killing them by marching them to death, but for the purpose of taking them to camps in Germany to work.

I wrote about the prisoners being marched out of Dachau on this page of my website:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/LiberationDay2A.html

 

5 Comments

  1. my dad said that youre a liar you bitch ass nigga

    Comment by bob jane T marts — June 25, 2019 @ 4:52 pm

  2. youre shit cunt

    Comment by nigger — June 25, 2019 @ 4:50 pm

    • how disrespectful

      Comment by Jack Roberts — June 25, 2019 @ 4:54 pm

  3. Elie Wiesel and his father were in Auschwitz and were asked if they wanted to leave the camp with their German captors or stay and await “liberation” by the red army of Josef Stalin. They chose to leave with the “murderers” – http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/wiesel.shtml http://www.eliewieseltattoo.com I don’t know if this qualifies as a “death march” but I thought I would add it to the discussion.

    Comment by Les — April 5, 2014 @ 2:52 am

    • Thanks for the link to the IHR article. I noticed this quote in the article:

      Begin quote
      Filip Müller is the author of Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers, [12] which won the 1980 prize of the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA). This nauseous best-seller is actually the work of a German ghost writer, Helmut Freitag, who did not hesitate to engage in plagiarism. [13] The source of the plagiarism is Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account, another best-seller made up out of whole cloth and attributed to Miklos Nyiszli. [14]
      End Quote

      I wrote about these two books in this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/eyewitness-auschwitz-three-years-in-the-gas-chambers-by-filip-muller/

      Comment by furtherglory — April 5, 2014 @ 6:03 am


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