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Sachsenhausen

When I started to walk towards the concentration camp, I started to think that the road I was walking was the same one some years before the prisoners of the Nazis had to walk. A path that probably was the last for thousands of them. Then I reached a wall where I could read fragments of texts written by prisoners that prickled my skin.

35,000 prisoners are drive on the “Death March”

“Even in our worst nightmares we could not have imagined the horror that awaited us. Soon, that first night, we heard shots not far from us, individual shots. We began having to step over the bodies of prisoners. We realised that anyone who couldn´t go on any further was being shot, right there on the spot. It went on like this for days, it really was a “death march”. Imagine they didn´t pick up the bodies, we had to step over our dead comrades and walk on, it was a horrific march, (…), it must have lasted six days.” -Mark Tilevitch, Russia

“On 2 February, the day the camp was liquidated, we were marched off to Sachsenhausen. For the 5-day forced march about 1600 prisoners were each issued with a horse blanket, some tinned food and a piece of bread. It was snowing and the weather was cold and damp. (…) The SS guards beat us across the head with truncheons. Whenever they beat someone to death, we would bury them the next morning and strike their name from the list. The same thing happened with those who were too exhausted to march any further. They were executed with a shot to the head, put on a cart and buried during the night. -Wojciech Cieslik, Poland

After reading these fragments I could get an idea of how the prisoners had suffered. It was very cold at that time even though I was quite well sheltered. I can not imagine the suffering of being naked, freezing, starving with no food and forced to work in that camp. It had to be a nightmare. It’s amazing the level of cruelty that a human being can reach in time of war.

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