I.O.W Hitler’s Death Trains The Role of the Reichsbahn in the Final Solution


Pen and Sword

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Literature highlighting the horrors of the Holocaust has concentrated on the incarceration of Jews and others deemed hostile to Hitler’s Reich in ghettoes and their fate in the death camps. Little coverage has been given to the role played by the Deutche Reichsbahn (German National Railway). In fact, the success of the Final Solution’ was dependent on the efficient utilization of the vast train network of Germany and the Nazi occupied territories. Without this it would have been impossible for Hitler’s henchmen to transport their victims in sufficient number to the extermination camps such as Auschwitz. While conditions on the trains were invariably inhuman, many Jews were forced to fund their own deportations through deposits paid to the SS towards The resettlement to work in the East’ programme. Although these death trains’ competed for valuable track space with Nazi war effort requirement, the importance of the extermination programme perversely prevailed. The conclusion of this well researched and highly illustrated book is that without the Reichsbahn, the industrial murder of millions of Jews, Roma and other undesirables’ would not have been possible on the scale that was so tragically achieved

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