by Ellen Dudley
The extermination process of German Jews started with their deportation by train. The first trains operated on 16th October 1941, transporting Jews from central Germany to ghettos in the east, mainly Poland. The trains consisted mainly of freight or cattle cars and were packed, according to SS/Gestapo regulations, with 50, but sometimes up to 150 occupants were crammed inside. No food or water was provided, while the freight cars were only provided with a bucket latrine. A small barred window provided irregular ventilation, which sometimes resulted in deaths from either suffocation or the exposure to the winter elements.
An average transport journey took four and a half days. Due to cramped conditions, many deportees died underway.
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