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Deportation of the JewsThe Holocaust was a horrific historical event that began in 1933. The Holocaust consisted of many events that drug out until 1945. If you were not a survivor of the Holocaust, the best way to wrap your mind around it is to learn about the different events within. The Nazi’s deported and murdered over twelve million people with different methods, with the same consequences and from different places around the world. Many people are aware that a numerous amount of people were taken as prisoners, but fewnow of the methods the Nazis used to deport them.
Project Aladin states, “The first wave of deportations from the German Reich were carried out from mid-October 1941” (Holocaust | Deportations). According to Yad Vashem, “The deportation orders were given to the Judenrat” (The Holocaust). The Judenrats were people who rounded up the prisoners for deportation. Local police as well as Jewish police in the area were given the order to, “..Carry out the Aktion.” The action Yad Vashem speaks of is specifically rounding up the Jews. Prisoners were unwillingly gathered near a train station for deportation with only few possessions. The Germans punished anyone that stepped out of line or did not follow their order by shooting them.
The Destruction of the Jews of Hungary, an article from the Holocaust Research Project, states, “If the Jews did not want to work, they were shot. If they could not work, they had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, with which a healthy body may become infected” (The Destruction of the Hungarian Jews). The Holocaust Explained states that Jews were, “Locked in transportation for days” (Deportation and Transportation). Most Jews didn’t have any information on what was going on, how long they would be traveling or where to. The awful conditions of the trains forced many Jews to perish.
Deportations to killing centers took much more work for the Nazis than it seemed. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum writes, “Deportations on this scale required the coordination of numerous German government agencies including the Reich Security Main Office, the Main Office of the Order Police, the Ministry of Transportation, and the Foreign Office” (Holocaust History ).Getting the different organizations to communicate had its complications. The German’s tried to camouflage their intentions by leading the Jews to believe the transportation led them to resettlement in labor camps towards the East.
Little did the prisoners know this transport directed them to killing centers not the labor camps. The ways of transportation included freight and passenger vehicles. Normally Germans would notprovide food or water on the journey, even when prisoners were forced to wait for other trains to pass. Waiting for passing trains could take up to days. Detainees were packed in freight cars and other vehicles most suffering from overcrowding. Exhaustive heat during the summer and freezing temperatures of water in the winter were what the captives had to work with.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum explains the odor of the freight trains by stating, “The stench of urine and excrement added to the humiliation and suffering of the deportees” (Holocaust History).Not only were the odors of the transporting vehicles horrific the lack of food and water caused many prisoners to die before they reached their destination. An armed police officer guarded each transporter, and their orders were to shoot anyone who tried to escape. Beginning in December of 1941 and ending in July of 1942 the Germans and police officials established five killing centers located in German-occupied Poland. Approximately three millions Jews were eliminated in the five killing centers. (Holocausts | Deportations)
Project Aladin has an article that states different statistics of how the Germans killed the Jews, how they rounded up the Jews and how many Jews they actually killed. The article states, “Trains continuously traveled through Europe towards the extermination camps in Poland or to overcrowded concentration camps in Germany” (Holocaust | Deportations).
Many parts of the world were affected by the decisions of the Germans including but not limited to: The Netherlands, Belguim, France, Denmark, Norway, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Italy, Greece and Serbia. When World War II began about 140,000 Jews were living in the Netherlands. Out of the 140,000 nearly 107,000 Dutch Jews were deported. They were sent to Auschwitz where about 102,000 died.
There were 66,000 Jews living in Belgium. Of that 66,000 about 28,500 Jews were deported. France had a goal set to deport 125,000 Jews, but they only expatriated 73,000 prisoners. A portion of 24,000 of the 73,000 prisoners were French citizens. In Denmark the Germans were not successful in deporting the Danish Jews. Recognized in 1943 was the fact that a majority of the Danish Jews escaped to Sweden.
Norway had a very small Jewish population of 2,000 when World War II started a mere half of them were deported. The head count consisted of 770 Jews. The others, who were Norwegian Jews, escaped to Sweden with the Danish Jews.
Romania had a population count of around 320,000 Jews which remained fairly large. The Romanians were not considered for deportation until the summer of 1942. When this happened the Germans realized the Romanian government was very hesitant and the orders were dropped. Project Aladin states, “In Bulgaria approximately 11,000 Greek and Macedonian Jews were deported,” says Project Aladin and, “50,000 Slovakian Jews were deported to the extermination camps at Auschwitz, Majdanek and Sobibor” (Holocaust | Deportations).
Beginning in 1944 during the month of May more than 430,000 Hungarian Jews were sent to the killing centers. Croatia began with a population count of 30,000. When German orders took over they were left with about 15,000 Hungarian Jews. In Italy 5,000 Jews were taken to concentration camps. In Greece around 45,000 in total were taken. The 45,000 includes those from the German and Italian zone. Project Aladin states, “The Jews in the Italian occupation zone were gathered in concentration camps, but not deported,” and, “ In Serbia a total of 20,000 Jews from prewar population of 80,000 survived the war” (Holocaust | Deportations).
The statistics Project Aladin state are heartbreaking and outrageous. The Holocaust was a very thick layered historical happening. The concentration camp deportations are just another layer in the event. The Holocaust killed many prisoners with different methods, from different areas of the world and they had the same consequences for anyone who tried to escape. The Germans had a system and their system killed over twelve million Jews.