Resettlement to The Bloodlands
As the Germans closed in on their “final solution” or the mass extermination of the Jews, they realized that it could not be done in Germany. Instead, the majority of the final solution was carried out in other countries as Jews were put on trains and transported around: “The Jews were then taken to train depots to be transported to the death camps. The Transport Ministry was responsible for trains throughout Nazi-occupied Europe.”(1) These Jews were shipped east, where the majority of the killing for the final solution would take place, which became know as the Bloodlands. The Bloodlands–as shown below– extended from Poland to western parts of the USSR. It also included East Prussia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Here, the Jews would then be put in death camps and be killed.
Those who lived in the towns that were raided, were basically put into two different categories: useful–those who were able to work for the Germans– and those who were not useful–ones too sick, young, or old to be of any use. Those who could be of use were sent to labor camps where they would work in various places to perform tasks for the Germans. Those who were considered not useful, would be murdered outside their hometown.
The Bloodlands were home to the majority of the mass murders executed during the Nazi regime. Millions of people were dragged from their homes, shipped to these lands, and then murdered, all part of Hitler’s Final Solution.
(1) Jackson J. Spielvogel and David Redless, Hitler and Nazi Germany (New Jersey: Pearson, 2014),265.
Image from: Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (New York: Basic Books, 2010), xvi.