Monstrous Technology / Innocent People:
A Description and Analysis of the Reichsbahn (German Reich Railway)

2386 Words 10 Pages
Monstrous Technology / Innocent People:
A Description and Analysis of the Reichsbahn (German Reich Railway)

Many of the 17 million1 (Newyk 45) victims of the Holocaust were transported to their eventual deaths by European railroads. Once a means of democratizing travel and an innovative wonder, railroads were transformed into technological beasts: symbols of the Shoah’s horror. The extensive European railroad network was leveraged by the Nazis to disguise what they called ‘resettlement’. “Special trains” were deployed to empty the ghettos and facilitate Hitler’s Final Solution which began in 1941. Hitler proclaimed that the “contamination will not subside, this poisoning of the nation will not end, until the carrier himself, the Jew,
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Illustration 2 depicts a scene that became increasingly common from 1940 to 1943. Throughout Europe, Jews were rounded up to be deported to both ghettos as well as concentration camps. Fritzie Weiss Fritzshall, born in 1929 in Czechoslovakia, describes the horror of such a move as a young girl:
My [family] ... and all the other Jews in the community, we were all loaded onto this train .... When we were put onto this train, which of course I don't need to describe to you--it was a cattle car as you know, no windows, had no seats and no toilet. When we got onto the trains none of us knew we were being taken to a concentration camp. None of us knew anything about Auschwitz. At least I don't think we knew. We honestly thought we were going to be relocated, until the door closed and we heard the lock go on from the outside. I believe that was the first we knew, wherever we were going to be taken to, it was not going to be freedom, and it was not going to be a great relocation. (Fritshall 5) Fritshall was rounded up and send directly to Auschwitz and survived. Millions of others Jews and Nazi enemies were sent to ghettos to wait for the next forced move - that is, to Nazi camps where most would die. As she testifies, she and her fellow citizens did not speculate as to the

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A Description and Analysis of the Reichsbahn (German Reich Railway)

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