Packed into trucks

Gleiwitz, Death train
20 januari 1944

Dat was hoe ze ons verpakten, vrachtwagons stampvol met mannen. Onze voeten hadden geen plaats, zo vol.

The prisoners from Gleiwitz, but also from the satellite camps around Auschwitz, were crammed into open freight cars – 70 to 80 people per car.

The eight-day hellish journey without food, drink, or protection against the icy cold went straight across Czechoslovakia and Germany.  The purpose was to dump the prisoners in other concentration camps that were already filled to bursting with prisoners. When the “death train” arrived, many had not survived. The rest were more dead than alive. Those who were still able to work were again deployed as forced laborers. The rest disappeared – sometimes via the sick barracks – into mass graves.