Essay On Death Marches

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Death marches are not your typical joyful march. It is a sinister word with a sinister meaning, and can still bring shivers to the bone to those who experienced it and had survived. The Holocaust was the persecution of Jews by the Nazis. The Nazis believed that Germans were superior in comparison to other races, especially Jews, and so they built concentration camps to imprison and kill the Jews, homosexuals and other “racial enemies” of the Germans. The Soviets and the Allies, who were the liberators of the prisoners and the enemies of the Nazis, advanced to Germany and started liberating concentration camps, which drove Nazis to evacuate the prisoners. Death marches were ruthless evacuations that were held for the benefit of the Nazis. The…show more content…
Thousands of prisoners died from starvation, cold or exhaustion. The marches were usually held in winter, and prisoners had to walk miles with little rest while SS guards swapped groups to rest. Any prisoners that fell or lagged behind were shot and left on the road. The prisoners scooped up snow to drink, and were given little food throughout the march. They could not save the food to make it last longer and had to eat it at once for fear of other stronger captives stealing it (Ancona-Vincent). They were constantly cold because they wore thin clothes, but if they were lucky, they could take a blanket with them on the march. Even if the prisoners had a blanket, it was still not enough to block the cold. The prisoners that had survived the march arrived at concentration camps. Due to the countless evacuations, camps were fit to burst, and epidemics like typhus, a disease transmitted by fleas or lice, festered. Eventually Allies and Soviets invaded deeper into Germany. They discovered numerous concentration camps, some already evacuated and some still containing prisoners. They freed all the prisoners and also liberated the marches they came across. Even though the war was nearly at its end, death marches continued to happen. The Nazis surrendered on May 7th 1945 and on May 1st 1945, only a week before, prisoners who marched from Neuengamme, a concentration camp, to the North Sea coastline were put onto ships (United States Holocaust
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