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Polish Jews being loaded onto trains at Umschlagplatz in Warsaw Ghetto. The site today is preserved as a Polish national monument.

The Holocaust trains were railway transports run by German Nazis and their collaborators to forcibly deport interned Jews and other victims of the Holocaust to the German Nazi concentration and extermination camps.

Modern historians suggested that without the mass transportation of the railways, the scale of the Final Solution would not have been possible.[1]

Contents

Pre-war

Following the unsuccessful Évian Conference, in late 1938 at the invitation of a friend in the British Embassy in Prague, Czechoslovakia, 30 year old clerk to the London Stock Exchange Nicholas Winton visited one of the rapidly expanding refugee camps for those fleeing the Nazis. At the Embassy's request, he set up an office at a dining room table in his hotel in Wenceslas Square, where he arranged train transport for children to Britain. On return to London, the British Government agreed to the shipment of the children on the conditions were that Winton had to pay the cost of the transport (arranged via Czech travel agency Cedok), pay a £50 bond, and arrange a foster family - at the time when few of the affected families could afford the cost.

In 18 months, Winton managed to arrange for 669 children to get out on eight trains, Prague to London (a small group of 15 were flown out via Sweden). The ninth and biggest train was to leave Prague on 3 September 1939 - the day Britain entered World War II. The train never left the station, and none of the 250 children on board were seen again. During the war, 15,000 Czech children were killed.[2]

The role of the railway in the Final Solution

Entrance, or so-called "death gate", to Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the extermination camp, in 2006.

Within various phases of the Holocaust, the trains were used differently:

  • After economic discrimination and separation, trains were used to concentrate the populations, either in ghettos, or - more often - to transport them to forced labour or concentration camps
  • After concentration within ghettos, to transport the inmates to death camps

The scale of the extermination of members of groups targeted in the Final Solution was therefore only dependent on two factors:

  • The volume of the death camps to murder victims and process bodies
  • The capacity of the railways to transport the condemned from the ghettos to the death camps

The most modern accurate numbers on the scale of the Final Solution still rely today partly on shipping records of the German railways.[3]

The advantage of using trains

To implement the Final Solution, the Nazis needed an efficient system for mass extermination. Although trains took valuable track space away, they sped up the scale and duration over which the extermination needed to take place. The enclosed nature of the railway wagons used also reduced the number and skill of troops required to transport the Jews, and allowed the Nazis to build and operate more efficient death camps to a larger scale, rather than wasting valuable production resources on bullets. Many of the Jews killed were from Eastern Europe where there were many trains that had already transported military goods to the Russian front, and would have been empty on their return back to Germany were it not for the human cargo bound for the Holocaust.

There is "no word about those who committed the crimes", Hans-Rüdiger Minow, a spokesman for the Train of Commemoration, told The Jerusalem Post. He said 200,000 train employees were involved in the deportations and "10,000 to 20,000 were responsible for mass murders", but were never prosecuted.

Scale of the need for mass transportation

On 20 January 1942, after the Wannsee conference, the Nazis began to murder the Jews in large numbers. The mobile extermination squads were already conducting mass shootings of Jews in the areas of the occupied Soviet territories since 1941, and now Jews were either deported to then-empty ghettos like Riga, or to the death camps of Operation Reinhard: Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibór.

At Wannsee, the SS estimated that the "Final Solution" would ultimately annihilate 11 million European Jews; Nazi planners envisioned the inclusion of Jews living in neutral or non-occupied countries such as Ireland, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Deportations on this scale required the co-ordination of numerous German government ministries and state organisations, including the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), the Transport Ministry, and the Foreign Office. The RSHA coordinated and directed the deportations; the Transport Ministry organised train schedules; and the Foreign Office negotiated with German-allied states about handing over their Jews.[4]

Jews from Germany and German-occupied Europe were deported by rail to the extermination camps in occupied Poland, where they were systematically murdered. The Nazis disguised the Final Solution by referring to these deportations as "resettlement to the east". The victims were told they were being taken to labour camps, but in reality, from 1942, deportation for most Jews meant transit to extermination camps. During a telephone conversation in late 1942, Hitler's private secretary Martin Bormann admonished Heinrich Himmler, who was informing him that 50,000 Jews were already exterminated in a concentration camp in Poland. Bormann screamed: "They were not exterminated, only evacuated, evacuated, evacuated!", and slammed down the phone.

The journey

"Selection" on the Judenrampe, May/June 1944. To be sent to the right meant assignment to a work detail; to the left, the gas chambers. This image shows the arrival of Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia, many of them from the Berehov ghetto; the image was taken by Ernst Hofmann or Bernhard Walter of the SS. The main entrance, or "death gate", is visible in the background. Courtesy of Yad Vashem.[5]

The first trains operated on 16 October 1941, transporting Jews from central Germany to ghettos in the east.[6] Subsequently called "Sonderzuge" (special trains),[7] the trains had low priority for movement, and would proceed to the mainline after all other transport, inevitably extending shipping time scales.[7]

The trains consisted of formations of either third class passenger carriages,[8] but mainly freight cars or cattle cars - the latter were packed, according to SS regulations, with 50, but sometimes up to 150 occupants.[9] No food or water was provided, while the freight cars were only provided with a bucket latrine. A small barred window provided irregular ventilation, which sometimes resulted in deaths from either suffocation or the exposure to the elements.

Sometimes the Germans did not have enough cars to make it worth their while to do a major shipment of Jews to the camps, so the victims were stuck in a switching yard – "standing room only" – sometimes for days. At other times, the trains had to wait for more important military trains to pass.[9] An average transport took about four and a half days. The longest transport of the war, from Corfu, took 18 days. When the train got to the camps and the doors were opened, everyone was already dead.[1] The armed guards shot anyone trying to escape.

Due to cramped conditions, many deportees died in transit. On 18 August 1940, Waffenn SS officer Kurt Gerstein later wrote in the Gerstein Report, that he had witnessed at Belzec extermination camp: (the arrival of) "45 wagons with 6,700 people of whom 1,450 were already dead on arrival."[10] To avoid contamination between loads, at times the floor of the freight cars had a layer of quick lime which burned the feet of the human cargo.

Once alighted, the remaining passengers were split into two groups. The old, the young, the sick, and the infirm were sent immediately to be killed, initially in gassing vans and later in the gas chambers. The Gerstein Report states:[10]

After the doors are closed... the diesel starts. Until this moment the people live in these 4 chambers, four times 750 people in 4 times 45 cubic metres! Again 25 minutes pass. Right, many are dead now. One can see that through the small window in which the electric light illuminates the chambers for a moment. After 28 minutes only a few are still alive. Finally, after 32 minutes, everyone is dead!

The rest were to put to work, frequently in the harshest conditions which included the burial of victims in mass graves.[6]

The calculations

Typical freight steam locomotive used by ReichBahn

Powered mainly by efficient freight steam locomotives, the trains were kept to a maximum of 55 freight cars.

The standard accommodation was a 10 metre long cattle freight wagon, although third class passenger carriages were also used where the SS wanted to keep up the "resettlement to work in the East" myth, particularly in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The standard SS manual covered such trains, suggesting a resultant loading ration per train of:

50 people in a freight car X 50 cars = 2,500 people in each train.

Since normally the trains were loaded to 150 to 200% capacity, this results in the following:

100 people in a freight car X 50 cars = 5,000 people in each train
Replica of a boxcar used to transport Jews and other victims.

Of the estimated 6 million Jews exterminated during the Second World War, 2 million were murdered immediately by the second-rank military and political police, and mobile death squadrons of the Einsatzgruppen.

In total, over 1,600 trains were organised by the German Transport Ministry, and logged mainly by the Polish state railway company due to the majority of death camps being located in Poland.[11] Between 1941 until December 1944, the official date of closing of the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, the transport/arrival timetable was of 1.5 trains per day:

50 freight cars X 50 prisoners per freight car X 1.5 trains/day X 1,066 days = 4,000,000 prisoners

On 20 January 1943, Himmler sent a letter to Reich Minister of Transport, Julius Dorpmüller: "need your help and support. If I am to wind things up quickly, I MUST HAVE MORE TRAINS."[12]

Payment

Most of the Jews were forced to pay for their own transportation, particularly where passenger carriages were used. This payment came in the form of direct money paid to the SS, in light of the "resettlement to work in the East" myth. Charged in the ghettos for accommodation, the Jews paid for a full one-way ticket,[13] while children under 10–12 years of age paid half price. Those who were running out of money in the ghetto were shipped to the East first, while those with some supplies of gold and cash were shipped last.

The SS also paid the German Transport Authority to pay the German Railways to transport Jews. The Reichsbahn was paid the equivalent of a third class train ticket for every prisoner transported to the final destination:[7]

0.5 pfennig X 8,000,000 prisoners X 600 km (pro media of voyage length) = 240 million Reichmarks

The Reichsbahn pocketed both this money and their share, after the SS fees, of the money paid by the transported.

Variations per country

The characteristics of organized concentration and transportation of victims of the Holocaust varied by country.

Belgium

When Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss in March 1938, and following the unsuccessful Évian Conference of June 1938, Belgium had in excess of 30,000 refugees within its borders. The government ordered the Belgian Embassy in Vienna to stop issuing entry visas and draw up lists of "suspect Belgians and foreigners".[14]

When German troops invaded Belgium on 10 May 1940, the Belgian authorities rounded up the "unpatriotic" subjects, including Flemish-Nationalists, Communists, and non-Belgian citizens, most of them Jewish refugees from Germany and Poland. Theses people were transported to France on so-called "phantom trains" the records for which were destroyed, but it is known that at least 3,000 were arrested under the plot in Antwerp alone. A phantom train on which Joris van Severen, leader of the pro-Belgian Fascist party was among 79 people deported is well recorded, as 21 people were killed by French soldiers at Abbeville.[15]

Of the people deported on "phantom trains", most including the Belgian Jews were released by the Wehrmacht, the only Jews released by the Nazi German Army. 3,537 Jews holding German and Austrian passports were kept imprisoned at location, and were transported to Auschwitz for processing. In July 1940 General Eggert Reeder the head of the Wehrmacht in Brussels, had Robert de Foy the head of the Belgian secret police, arrested for the deportations. The SS ordered that De Foy be released, in that he had fully co-operated with Heinrich Himmler before the War.

Original boxcar used for transport to concentration camps
Memorial Fort van Breendonk

After implementation of the Final Solution in Belgium, between August 1942 and July 1944, 28 trains transported more than 25,000 Jewish deportees to Auschwitz via the concentration camp at Mechelen, chosen because it was the hub of the Belgian railway system.[16]

After the War, De Foy resumed his position as head of the Belgian secret police. While the records about the persecution of the Antwerp Jews are intact, the documents about French-speaking cities with large Jewish communities including Charleroi and Liège, were claimed to have been purposely destroyed, even into the early 2000s.[15][17] At least 171 Jews of Charleroi and 312 Jews from Liege are known to have died in the Shoah.

Bulgaria

On 22 February 1943 the Bulgarian government agreed to allow the Germans to deport 11,000 Jews. Overcrowding conditions existed in the 20 trains that transported them over four days, requiring each train to stop daily to dump the bodies of those who died during the past day.[12]

Czech Republic

Jews were interned and shipped from Theresienstadt, mainly to Birkenau.

The last train left Theresienstadt for Birkenau on 28 October 1944 with 2,038 Jews, of which 1,589 were immediately gassed.[18] Birkenau closed its gas chambers on 7 November 1944.

France

SNCF under the Vichy Government played its part in the Final Solution, however reluctantly. In total, the Vichy government helped in the deportation of 76,000 Jews, although this number varies depending on the account, to German extermination camps; only 2,500 survived the war.[19][20]

During the 16 July 1942 rafle du Vel'd'Hiv ("Vel'd'Hiv round-up"), French police officers and SNCF officials rounded up 12,884 Jews (including 4,051 children which the Gestapo hadn't asked for), and imprisoned them in the Winter Velodrome in unhygienic conditions, from which they were led to Drancy internment camp, run by Alois Brunner,[21] and French constabulary police, and then to Birkenau.

During the January 1943 Battle of Marseille, the French police controlled the identity of 40,000 people, and sent 2,000 inhabitants of Marseille to Birkenau.[22]

Drancy served as the transport hub for the Paris area, where by February 3, 1944 the 67th train had left for Birkenau.[18] Vittel served the northeast. By 23 June 1943 50,000 Jews had been be deported from France, an apparently slow pace not to the satisfaction of the Germans.[23] The last train from France left Drancy on 31 July 1944 with over 300 children.[18]

Greece

After the German occupation, an internment camp was set up in Athens to transport Jews to another internment camp at Salonika, which served as the collection point for Jews from the Greek Islands.

In total, between March and August 1943, over 40,000 Jews were deported from Greece to Auschwitz-Birkenau.[16]

Hungary

Hungary resisted the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Germany, but did deport 100,000 Jews in former Romanian territory of Transylvania,[24] and Jews from occupied Yugoslavia.

After Hitler launched Operation Margarethe in March 1944, the discussions between him and Miklós Horthy came to a quick conclusion. On 29 April 1944 the first deportation to Birkenau took place, and the second on 30 April of 2,000 Jews. To allay fears of the remaining population estimated at 762,000, the SS had the deported write postcards to their family back home.[18]

On 25 May, German representative General Edmund Veesenmayer reported that 138,870 Jews had been deported in the past 10 days; on 31 May he reported that 60,000 more had been deported in the last six days, while the total for the past 16 days stood at 204,312.[18]

On 8 July 1944 due to international pressure by the Pope, King of Sweden and the Red Cross (all of whom had recently learned the extent of the Hungarian tragedy), the deportation of the Hungarian Jews stopped. In 70 days, 437,000 Hungarian Jews were deported - around 6,250 per day.[18]

In October 1944, following the coup d'état that put a Hungarist government in control, 50,000 of the remaining Jews were forced on a death march to Germany, digging anti-tank ditches on the roads westwards. A further 25,000 were saved in an "international ghetto" under Swedish protection engineered by Charles Lutz and Raoul Wallenberg. When the Soviet Army liberated Budapest on 17 January 1945, only 120,000 of Hungarian Jews survived.[25]

Italy

Benito Mussolini resisted the deportation of Italian Jews to Germany. After the Allied landings on mainland Italy, and the 8 September 1943 Armistice with Italy, the Germans occupied northern Italy and shipped 8,000 Jews to Birkenau via mainly Austria, and also possibly via neutral Switzerland.

Between September 1943 and April 1944, at least 23,000 Italian soldiers were deported to work as slaves in German industry, while over 10,000 partisans were captured and deported during the same period to Birkenau. By 1944 there were over half a million Italians working for the Nazi war machine.[26]

Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Jews were concentrated in Amsterdam ghettos, before being moved for "re-settlement in the East" to Westerbork, a transit camp in the north-east of near the German border. Deportees from Amsterdam Muiderpoort station were unaware of their final destination or fate, as postcards were often thrown from moving trains.[27]

Between July 1942 and September 1944, almost every Tuesday a train left for the concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibór, Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt. In the period from 1942 to 1945, a total of 107,000 people passed through the camp on a total of 93 outgoing trains: about 60,000 to Auschwitz and over 34,000 to Sobibor.[16]

Only 5,200 of the deportees survived, most of them in Theresienstadt or Bergen-Belsen, or liberated in Westerbork.[28] On 29 September 2005, Nederlandse Spoorwegen apologised for its role in the deportation of Jews.[29]

Poland

The Höfle Telegram lists the number of arrivals to the Aktion Reinhard Camps through 1942 (1,274,166)

Most of the Jews were transported by road to concentration camps, until the opening of the full five gas chambers at Auschwitz. The numerous train movements, both originating inside and outside occupied Poland and terminating at the various death camps, were tracked by the pre-war Polish railway company PKP, now in German possession, using IBM supplied card reading machines and railway software and made up 95% of IBM's business at the time.[11]

The Warsaw Ghetto was created by the German Nazis on 16 November 1940; eventually over 450,000 people cramped in an area meant for about 60,000. Shipments to the camps under Operation Reinhard were from the station at Umschlagplatz started on 22 July 1942 through to 12 September.[30]

The Nazi record of Operation Reinhard lists the total number of killed, most of whom were transported by train, as follows:

Location Number and notes
Belzec 246,922 deportees from within the General Government area alone, and a total of 600,000. Deportations to Belzec ended in December, 1942
Majdanek 300,000
Sobibor 140,000 from Lublin, and 25,000 Jews from Lviv
Treblinka 900,000

The Höfle Telegram lists the number of arrivals to the camps through 1942 as 1,274,166, while the total killed is estimated at 2 million.

On 18 August 1943, the last train ever to be sent to Treblinka camp left Białystok ghetto - all survivors were sent to the gas chambers, after which the camp closed down.[23]

From 7 August 1944 the Nazis liquidated 68,000 Jews of the Łódź Ghetto, by then the largest remaining gathering of Jews in all of German occupied Europe. They were told by the SS that they were to be resettled; instead, over the next 23 days they were sent to Birkenau by train at the rate of 2,500 per day, with some of the crippled selected by Josef Mengele for his "medical experiments".[18]

Romania

Romania had the third largest Jewish population in Europe after Russia and Poland, and antisemitic feelings ran high in pre-War Romania, based partly on Christian beliefs as well as modern politics stemming from King Carol II. When he was forced to resign, the Government headed by Ion Antonescu introduced draconian anti-Jewish legislation, which was openly inspired by the Nazi Nuremberg Laws. During 1941 and 1942, thirty-two anti-Semitic laws, thirty-one decree-laws, and seventeen government resolutions were passed and decreed. This resulted in many Jews leaving for Palestine by ship in Autumn 1940.[31]

As a result of Romania having to give up territories to the Soviet Union, Hungary and Bulgaria in summer 1940, Jews in the new border regions were rounded up in concentration camps for transportation to the interior regions. Jewish population was mainly concentrated to the east of the River Prut. 800,000 of them died in Transnistria; 206,958 in Bessarabia; and 69,144 in Bukovina.[32] These Jewish populations were shipped to both Auschwitz as well as Belzec, where in September, 1942 two trains from Kolomea in Galicia arrived: the first with 4,769 Jews in 50 freight wagons; the second with 8,205 Jews packed at a ratio of 167 people per car, with 2,000 on board all already dead.[33]

As a result of the Iaşi pogrom on 25 June 1941 in which 900 Jews were killed, train shipments were increased to Călăraşi in the south where estimated 420,000 Jews died, as well as to Auschwitz.[34] In addition, 26,000 Roma people were deported to Nazi death camps.[24][32]

Scandinavia

In October 1942, 770 Norwegian Jews were deported by boat to Hamburg and onwards by train to Auschwitz. The Danish resistance, on hearing a similar measure was to be attempted by the SS in Denmark, assisted in a mass rescue of the Danish Jews to neutral Sweden.[16]

Slovakia

On 9 September 1941, the parliament of "independent" Slovakia - a Nazi puppet state - ratified the Jewish Codex, a series of laws and regulations that stripped Slovakia's 80,000 Jews of their civil rights and all means of economic survival. The fascist Slovak leadership was so impatient to get rid of Jews that it paid the Nazis DM 500 in exchange for each expelled Jew and a promise that the deportees would never return to Slovakia. The decision by Slovakia to initiate and pay for the expulsion was unprecedented among the satellite states of Nazi Germany. They paid 40 millions RM to the SS.

Switzerland

Entrance to the St. Gotthard Tunnel

Although the Germans shipped most supplies to Italy through the Austrian Brenner Pass, based on the German-Italian-Swiss treaty of 1909 (to be denounced within ten years, by Article 374 of the 1919 Versailles Treaty),[35] Switzerland was forced to allow Nazi Germany to ship certain non-strategic goods (specifically the treaty excluded soldiers and armaments) through the St. Gotthard Tunnel.

There exists substantial evidence that these shipments included Italian forced labour workers and possibly shipments of Jews in 1944, during the Nazi occupation of northern Italy, when a German train passed through Switzerland every 10 minutes. The need for the tunnel was complicated by the British Royal Air Force having bombed and disrupted services through the Brenner Pass, as well as a heavy snowfall in the winter of 1944/45.[26]

Of 43 trains that could be tracked down by the 1996 Bergier Commission, 39 went via Austria (Brenner, Tarvisio), one via France (Ventimiglia - Nice). The commission could not find any evidence that the other three passed through Switzerland. It is possible that the train could have been carrying dissidents back from concentration camps. Started in 1944, some repatriation trains went through Switzerland officially, organised by the Red Cross.[36][37]

1944 onwards

After the Soviet Army began making severe inroads into the Nazi land war gains in the East, and the Allies landed in Normandy in June, the number of trains and transported persons began to vary greatly.

By November 1944, with the closure of Birkenau and the advance of the Soviet Army, the death trains had ceased. Death Marches also had the advantage of being able to use the forced labor to build defences.

Kastner train

In April 1944, for reasons that are still disputed, Nazi officials under the direction of SS officer Adolf Eichmann offered to sell the Zionist Aid and Rescue Committee (Vaada), of which Hungarian journalist and lawyer Rudolph Kastner was the de facto leader, exit visas for 600 Jews who held Palestinian immigration certificates,[38] in exchange for 6.5 million pengő (RM 4,000,000 or $1,600,000).[39]

The negotiations between the SS and the Vaada were expanded to include more Jews, and the Vaada compiled a list of ten categories of Jews they wanted to rescue, a list that included Orthodox Jews, Zionists, prominent Jews, orphans, refugees, Revisionists, and "paying persons".[39] The list also controversially included 388 people from Kastner's home town of Cluj.

Eventually the Kastner train transported 1,684 Jews from Nazi-controlled Hungary to Switzerland,[38] in exchange for 6.5 million pengő (RM 4,000,000 or $1,600,000).[39][40][41][42] Although Kastner was later criticised for putting his own family on the train, Hansi Brand, a member of the Vaada, testified at Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem in 1961 that Kastner had included his family to reassure the other passengers that the train was safe, and was not destined, as they feared, for Auschwitz.[43]

1945

As the Soviet and Allied Armies made their final pushes, the Nazis transported some of the concentration camp survivors, either to other camps located further inside the collapsing Third Reich, or to border areas where they believed they could negotiate the release of captured Nazi Prisoners of War in return for "Exchange Jews" or those that were born outside the Nazi occupied territories.

Many of the inmates were transported via the infamous Death Marches, but among other transports three trains left Bergen-Belsen in April 1945 bound for Theresienstadt - all were liberated.[28]

The last recorded train is the one used to transport the women of the Flossenbürg March, where for three days in March 1945 the remaining survivors were crammed into cattle cars to await further transport. Only 200 of the original 1000 women survived the entire trip to Bergen-Belsen.[44]

Hungarian Gold Train

With the Soviet Army about 100 miles away from Hungary, on March 7, 1944 Hitler launched Operation Margarethe—the invasion of Hungary. The fascist government of Hungary issued a decree against the Jewish population, ordering them to "deposit" their gems, their golden jewels ornamented with gems, and all valuables made of gold, with the authorities. The jewels and other valuables of 800,000 Hungarian Jews were seized by the fascist government.

With the approach of Soviet and Allied forces, the government of Ferenc Szálasi had these valuables laden on a train consisting of 44 cars. This train was seized in May 1945 by U.S. occupation troops in Austria. The Hungarian escort pushed the train into the tunnel near Boeckstein, while the Americans took possession at the railway station of Werfen, where they found that the train also contained other valuables, e.g. oriental carpets, silver, furs, etc. While unloading the train to store the valuables, two lorries were seized in the French sector.

The goods were stored in two locations in Salzburg, with the valuables in one location and paintings in another. After goods were given to furnish American families locating to Europe, the remainder were repatriated for sale in America, where, in June 1948 they were sold at Parke-Bernet Galleries in New York. To date, of the scheduled 1,176 paintings on the gold train originally stored by the US Army, only one has been repatriated.[45] On 30 September 2005 the US Government reached agreement with the representatives of the Hungarian Jewish community to pay $25.5 million in compensation, with an additional $500k for the preservation of documents associated with the Gold Train, and to declassify any remaining documents related to the Gold Train.[46]

Modern-day legacy

There are still signs of the mass transportation system employed by the Nazis in the "Final Solution", as well well as controversies surrounding the history.

In Poland, the arrival point at Auschwitz is well preserved, although ceremonially cut-off from the main railway system.[47] In 1988 at the Umschlagplatz national monument, a stone sculpture resembling an open freight car was created by architect Hanna Szmalenberg and sculptor Wladyslaw Klamerus.

In the Netherlands, Nederlandse Spoorwegen used its 29 September 2005, apology for its role in the "Final Solution" to launch an equal opportunities and anti-Discrimination policy, in part to be monitored by the Dutch council of Jews.[29]

In Germany, Federal Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee proposed an exhibition by artist Jan Philipp Reemtsma on the railways' role in the deportation of 11,000 Jewish children to their deaths in Nazi concentration and extermination camps during World War II. The exhibit would travel around the country to various train stations. It was initially opposed by Hartmut Mehdorn, the head of Deutsche Bahn, because he considered the topic too serious for the proposed venue. However, it opened on January 23, 2008, a date that coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945.[48]

Railway companies involved

See also

References

  • Dawidowitz, Lucy - "The War Against the Jews." Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, United States of America, 1975
  • Hilberg, Raul - The Destruction of the European Jews Pub: New York: Holmes and Meier, 1985
  • Kranzler, David - "The Man Who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz - George Mantello, El Salvador, and Switzerland's Finest Hour", Syracuse University Press. Winner of the 1998 Egit Prize (Histadrut) for the Best Manuscript on the Holocaust
  • Luba Krugman Gurdus, Luba - "Death Train: A Personal Account of a Holocaust Survivor" Pub: United States Holocaust ISBN 0896040925
  • The trains of the Holocaust, A simple German logisistic problem, article by Hedi Enghelberg, 1997, www.enghelberg.com, www.engpublishing.com

Notes

  1. ^ a b Holocaust: The Trains
  2. ^ Sir Nicholas Winton, Schindler Of Britain
  3. ^ HOLOCAUST FAQ: Operation Reinhard: A Layman's Guide (2/2)
  4. ^ German Railways and the Holocaust
  5. ^ http://wWorld War I.yadvashem.org/exhibitions/album_auschwitz/home_auschwitz_album.html
  6. ^ a b ::::The Importance of World Peace: The Holocaust::::
  7. ^ a b c Approaches to Auschwitz - Richard L. Rubenstein, John K. Roth
  8. ^ Recalling the Holocaust
  9. ^ a b http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/25615/edition_id/498/format/html/displaystory.html
  10. ^ a b Gerstein Report (English)
  11. ^ a b Edwin Black on IBM and the Holocaust
  12. ^ a b NAAF Holocaust Project Timeline 1943
  13. ^ Fathoming the Holocaust - Ronald J. Berger
  14. ^ http://www.raphaelvishanu-world.at/Dec2003.html
  15. ^ a b Belgian Authorities Destroy Holocaust Records | The Brussels Journal
  16. ^ a b c d Deportations to Killing Centers
  17. ^ Belgian Authorities Destroy Holocaust Records
  18. ^ a b c d e f g NAAF Holocaust Project Timeline 1944
  19. ^ J.-L. Einaudi and Maurice Rajsfus, Les silences de la police — 16 July 1942 and 17 October 1961, L'Esprit frappeur, 2001, ISBN 2-84405-173-1 (Rajsfus is an historian of the French police, the second date refers to the 1961 Paris massacre under the orders of Maurice Papon, who would later be judged for his role during Vichy in Bordeaux)
  20. ^ "Vichy gets chance to lay ghost of Nazi past as France hosts summit". London: The Times. 2008-11-01. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article5057976.ece. Retrieved 2008-11-01.  
  21. ^ As of 2007, Alois Brunner is still wanted for his crimes against humanity
  22. ^ Maurice Rajsfus, La Police de Vichy. Les Forces de l'ordre françaises au service de la Gestapo, 1940/1944, Le Cherche Midi éditeur, 1995. Chapter XIV, "La Bataille de Marseille, pp.209-217 (French)
  23. ^ a b NAAF Holocaust Project Timeline 1943 Continued
  24. ^ a b Holocaust in Podul Iloaiei, Romania
  25. ^ The Man Who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz, George Mantello, El Salvador, and Switzerland's Finest Hour
  26. ^ a b FRONTLINE: Switzerland: The Train
  27. ^ 2007-05-01 Holocaust
  28. ^ a b BBC - Birmingham - Faith - The Last Train from Belsen
  29. ^ a b c Dutch news - Expatica
  30. ^ Holocaust Remembrance Day in Warsaw
  31. ^ Survivor shares unique story on Holocaust Remembrance Day - The Stanford Daily Online
  32. ^ a b New Page 1
  33. ^ Holocaust Controversies: Carlo Mattogno on Belzec Archaeological Research - Part 5 and Conclusion
  34. ^ The Daily O’Collegian » Summer staff
  35. ^ The Avalon Project : The Versailles Treaty June 28, 1919
  36. ^ Switzerland's Role in World War II
  37. ^ Independent Commission of Experts, Switzerland - World War II. Bergier Commission for the Swiss Government
  38. ^ a b Braham, p48; Bauer, p197.
  39. ^ a b c Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews, Yale University Press, 2003, p. 903
  40. ^ Braham, Randolph (2004): Rescue Operations in Hungary: Myths and Realities, East European Quarterly 38(2): 173-203.
  41. ^ Bauer, Yehuda (1994): Jews for Sale?, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-05913-2.
  42. ^ Bilsky, Leora (2004): Transformative Justice : Israeli Identity on Trial (Law, Meaning, and Violence), University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0-472-03037-X
  43. ^ Real History and the Holocaust Industry
  44. ^ NAAF Holocaust Project Timeline: 1945
  45. ^ The Mystery of the Hungarian “Gold Train”
  46. ^ "Gold Train" Settlement Will Fund Services for Hungarian Holocaust Survivors; Objections, Exclusions Due August 1, 2005
  47. ^ Auschwitz: A History by Sybille Steinbacher (Author), Shaun Whiteside (Translator) Pub: Penguin Books Ltd ISBN 0-1410-2142-X
  48. ^ > Nazi Death Train Exhibit Opens in Berlin
  49. ^ UK Treasury, Pears Foundation pledge £1.5m. for Holocaust education | Jerusalem Post

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