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Taylor Swan

Mr. Hawkins
World History P-Period 6
8 April 2016
The Death Marches
Death marches were the forced marches of prisoners over long distances, under unbearable conditions,
during which the prisoners were abused by their accompanying guards and often killed. The death
marches began January18, 1945 from the Auschwitz concentration camp. Many people died on
these marches due to the unbearable conditions and the Nazis killing them along the way. The SS
euphemistically called the death marches Evakuierung, evacuation. They started these marches
because the Soviets were closing in on them. Some of the things that happened on these marches
is people being murdered, freeing to death, and starvation.
People were murdered from start to finish during the death marches. On January 20,
7,000 Jews, 6,000 of them women, were marched from Stutthof 's satellite camps in the
Danzig region. In the course of a 10-day march, 700 were murdered. (Website 1). The
Nazis would kill the people along the way to their destination. Sometimes there were sites just
for execution. One group of prisoners was forced into a barn that was then set on fire (Website 1).
They needed to kill a mass majority of them and that was how to do it. That way people couldnt
trace the bodies either. Those who fell behind or who were too weak to continue were killed
on the spot; their bodies were often left on the side of the road (Website 2). They (the
Nazis) made the prisoners walk a whole bunch there are going to be some people being slow.

The Nazis were instructed to kill them, but its still wrong. Another thing that happened was the
prisoners starving to death.
Starvation was another main thing that affected the prisoners on the death marches. 70
people were jammed into a single freight car; they suffered from lack of oxygen, water, and
food. In the winter of 1944/45, they froze by the hundreds in the trains (Website 3). The
lack of food led to death, but they couldnt be taken off of the train. People were starving and
next to dead people and thats gross. Characteristics for these death marches were that they
occurred in the dead of winter, with few provisions for food or shelter and little opportunity
to rest (Website 2). Not only were they exhausted, but they were starving so there was no way
to keep up their energy. Even though there was no food and they werent allowed to rest they
were still expected to not fall behind, and if they did they would be killed. About 9,000
completely exhausted or seriously ill prisoners and members of the inmate staff of the
hospital barracks were left behind (Website 3). People were exhausted because they had no
food therefore ending up sick. They were cut off from all resources and probably died. Another
way people died on these marches is by starvation.
Freezing to death was a common thing on these marches. Characteristic of these death
marches were that they occurred in the dead of winter, with few provisions for food or
shelter and little opportunity to rest (Website 2). People were forced to walk n the freezing
cold with little to no food. They would walk for days on end in the freezing cold and that is very
inhumane. 70 people were jammed into a single freight car; they suffered from lack of
oxygen, water, and food. In the winter of 1944/45, they froze by the hundreds in the trains
(Website 3). When the people died in the car they would have to stay in there until the
destination was reached. That would cause a lot of disease therefore leading to more death.

Many men, women, and children died of exhaustion or froze to death (Website 3). The
Nazis had no regard for the kids who cant fend for themselves. There werent any sufficient
supplies because they were constantly moving so they froze. All of these things add up to what
happened during the marches.
In conclusion the horrible things that happened during the death marches is people being
murdered, freeing to death, and starvation. The death marches were the icing on top of the cake
for all of the horrible things that happened to the prisoners. The Nazis didnt like the Jews
obviously, but just because you dont like somebody doesnt mean you have to terrorize them.