Keeling, Ralph Franklin, 1901- / Gruesome harvest
Chapter II - extermination by overcrowding, pp. 7-17 PDF (3.5 MB)
EXTERMINATION BY OVERCROWDING der where they would. Former German cities like Breslau are described as almost depopulated of Germans, with Poles tak- ing their place. The dispatch goes on to say: "Hundreds of thousands of persons in Poland are constantly on the move, restlessly seeking a spot where they can grub a living out of the war ravaged land. In every rail station and junction men, women, and children await transport. Clusters of human beings, almost hidden under loads of parcels and cans and other remnants of what must have been their homes, wait along the roads or in blasted villages for any transport that will carry them somewhere else. Life with its birth and death continues even in these nomadic streams and everywhere you see womenfolk tend- ing their sick or nursing babies." a An eye-witness report of the arrival in Berlin of a train which had left Poland with exactly 1,000 refugees aboard reads: "Nine hundred and nine men, women, and children dragged themselves and their luggage from a Russian railway train at Leherte station today, after 11 days travelling in boxcars from Poland. "Red Army soldiers lifted 91 corpses from the train, while rela- tives shrieked and sobbed as their bodies were piled in American lend-lease trucks and driven off for interment in a pit near a con- centration camp." "The refugee train was like a macabre Noah's ark. Every car was jammed with Germans. . . . The families carry all their earthly belongings in sacks, bags, and tin trunks. Nursing infants suffer the most, as their mothers are unable to feed them, and frequently go insane as they watch their offspring slowly die before their eyes. Today four screaming, violently insane mothers were bound with rope to prevent them from clawing other pas- sengers. "'Many women try to carry off their dead babies with them,' a Russian railway official said. 'We search the bundles whenever we discover a weeping woman, to make sure she is not carrying an infant corpse with her.' "' New York Daily News Correspondent Donald Mackenzie likewise reports from Berlin: "In the windswept courtyard of the Stettiner Bahnhof, a cohort of German refugees, part of 12,000,000 to 19,000,000 dispossessed in East Prussia and Silesia, sat in groups under a drriwng rain and told the story of their miserable pilgrimage, during which more than 25 per cent died by the roadside and the remainder were so starved they scarcely had strength to walk.
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