The rulers of the Third Reich regarded and treated the prisoners in Auschwitz, like those in other concentration camps, as a particular kind of labor resource. As the eastern front drew near to Oświęcim in January 1945, the SS therefore evacuated more than 50 thousand prisoners westward, on foot, as part of the liquidation of the camp. The signs of these marches along various routes into the depths of the Reich—the “Death Marches”—include numerous graves where the SS shot prisoners, or where prisoners succumbed to exhaustion. Monuments and memorial markers recall their martyrdom. A visit to several of these sites is also an occasion for remembering the people of good will who took great risks to aid the prisoner evacuees. This program will require at least 4 hours of travel by car, van, or bus.
Form: field trip with lecture
Audiences: Museum guides, students at intermediate-school level or above, teachers, educators.
Languages: Polish, English, German
Lecturers: Andrzej Strzelecki Ph.D., Teresa Wontor-Cichy
Photo: Shevach Weiss, the ambassador of Israel, at the grave of “Death March” victims in Żory in June 2002. (Photo by Tomasz Górecki)