Death march

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Croatian migrants and ustashe in death march (Bleiburg repatriations) Kolona Ustasev in hrvaskih beguncev blizu Pliberka.jpg
Croatian migrants and ustashe in death march (Bleiburg repatriations)

A death march is a forced march of prisoners of war or other captives or deportees in which individuals are left to die along the way. [1] It is distinguished in this way from simple prisoner transport via foot march. Death marches usually feature harsh physical labor and abuse, neglect of prisoner injury and illness, deliberate starvation and dehydration, humiliation and torture, and execution of those unable to keep up the marching pace. The march may end at a prisoner-of-war camp or internment camp, or it may continue until all the prisoners are dead (a form of "execution by labor", as seen in the Armenian genocide among other examples).

Marching formal style of walking

Marching refers to the organized, uniformed, steady walking forward in either rhythmic or route-step time; and, typically, it refers to overland movements on foot of military troops and units under field orders. It is a major part of military basic training in most countries and usually involves a system of drill commands. A soldier learning to march to drum cadences, martial music and shouted commands is considered an essential element of teaching military discipline.

Starvation severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient, and vitamin intake

Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake, below the level needed to maintain an organism's life. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death. The term inanition refers to the symptoms and effects of starvation. Starvation may also be used as a means of torture or execution.

Dehydration in physiology, excessive loss of body water

In physiology, dehydration is a deficit of total body water, with an accompanying disruption of metabolic processes. It occurs when free water loss exceeds free water intake, usually due to exercise, disease, or high environmental temperature. Mild dehydration can also be caused by immersion diuresis, which may increase risk of decompression sickness in divers.

Contents

General Masaharu Homma was charged with failure to control his troops in 1945 in connection with the Bataan Death March. [2] [3]

Masaharu Homma 20th-century Japanese general

Masaharu Homma was a lieutenant general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Homma commanded the Japanese 14th Army, which invaded the Philippines and perpetrated the Bataan Death March. After the war, Homma was convicted of war crimes relating to the actions of troops under his direct command and executed by firing squad on April 3, 1946.

Command responsibility doctrine of hierarchical accountability

Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the legal doctrine of hierarchical accountability for war crimes.

Bataan Death March 1942 march moving prisoners of war during WWII

The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer by the Imperial Japanese Army of 60,000–80,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war from Saysain Point, Bagac, Bataan and Mariveles to Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, via San Fernando, Pampanga, where the prisoners were loaded onto trains. The transfer began on April 9, 1942, after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II. The total distance marched from Mariveles to San Fernando and from the Capas Train Station to Camp O'Donnell is variously reported by differing sources as between 60 and 69.6 miles. Differing sources also report widely differing prisoner of war casualties prior to reaching Camp O'Donnell: from 5,000 to 18,000 Filipino deaths and 500 to 650 American deaths during the march. The march was characterized by severe physical abuse and wanton killings, and was later judged by an Allied military commission to be a Japanese war crime.

Examples

Before World War II

Arab-Swahili slave traders and their captives on the Ruvuma River Slaves ruvuma.jpg
Arab-Swahili slave traders and their captives on the Ruvuma River
Long Walk of the Navajo Navajo on Long Walk.gif
Long Walk of the Navajo
The abandonment of the village by the mountaineers as the Russian troops approached during the forced deportation and ethnic cleansing of the Circassians. Pyotr Nikolayevich Gruzinsky - The mountaineers leave the aul.jpg
The abandonment of the village by the mountaineers as the Russian troops approached during the forced deportation and ethnic cleansing of the Circassians.
Armenian people are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Ottoman soldiers during the Armenian Genocide. Kharpert, Ottoman Empire, April 1915. Marcharmenians.jpg
Armenian people are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Ottoman soldiers during the Armenian Genocide. Kharpert, Ottoman Empire, April 1915.
Arab slave trade slave trade in the Arab Islamic world between the 7th and 20th centuries

The Arab slave trade is a name used to refer to the intersection of slavery and trade surrounding the Arab world and Indian Ocean, mainly in Western and Central Asia, Northern and Eastern Africa, India, and Europe. This barter occurred chiefly between the medieval era and the early 20th century. The trade was conducted through slave markets in these areas, with the slaves captured mostly from Africa's interior, Southern and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

Zanzibar Semi-autonomous part of Tanzania

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja and Pemba Island. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.

Atlantic slave trade Slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean from the 16th to the 19th centuries

The Atlantic slave trade or transatlantic slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of those who were enslaved and transported in the transatlantic slave trade were people from Central and West Africa, who had been sold by other West Africans to Western European slave traders, who brought them to the Americas. The South Atlantic and Caribbean economies were particularly dependent on the supply of slave labour for the production of commodity crops, making goods and clothing to sell in Europe. This was crucial to those Western European countries which, in the late 17th and 18th centuries, were vying with each other to create overseas empires.

David Livingstone wrote of the East African slave trade:

David Livingstone Scottish explorer and missionary

David Livingstone was a Scottish physician, Congregationalist, and pioneer Christian missionary with the London Missionary Society, an explorer in Africa, and one of the most popular British heroes of the late 19th-century Victorian era. He had a mythical status that operated on a number of interconnected levels: Protestant missionary martyr, working-class "rags-to-riches" inspirational story, scientific investigator and explorer, imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader, and advocate of British commercial and colonial expansion.

We passed a slave woman shot or stabbed through the body and lying on the path. [Onlookers] said an Arab who passed early that morning had done it in anger at losing the price he had given for her, because she was unable to walk any longer. [8]

During World War II

American and Filipino prisoners of war uses improvised litters to carry fallen comrades following the Bataan Death March. Ww2 131.jpg
American and Filipino prisoners of war uses improvised litters to carry fallen comrades following the Bataan Death March.
May 11, 1945, German civilians are forced to walk past the bodies of 30 Jewish women murdered by German SS troops in a 500-kilometre (300 mi) death march from Helmbrecht to Volary. VolarydeadJews.jpg
May 11, 1945, German civilians are forced to walk past the bodies of 30 Jewish women murdered by German SS troops in a 500-kilometre (300 mi) death march from Helmbrecht to Volary.

During WWII, death marches of POWs occurred in both Nazi-Occupied Europe and the Japanese Empire. Death marches of Jews were common in the later stages of The Holocaust as the Allies closed in on concentration camps in occupied Europe.

After World War II

Captured French soldiers from Dien Bien Phu were force-marched over 600 km (370 mi). Of 10,863 prisoners, only 3,290 were repatriated four months later. Dien Bien Phu 1954 French prisoners.jpg
Captured French soldiers from Điện Biên Phủ were force-marched over 600 km (370 mi). Of 10,863 prisoners, only 3,290 were repatriated four months later.

See also

Related Research Articles

Prisoner of war Person who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict

A prisoner of war (POW) is a person, whether a combatant or a non-combatant, who is held captive by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1610.

Armenian Genocide Systematic killing of Armenians residing in the Ottoman Empire

The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, was the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of 700,000 to 1.5 million Armenians, mostly citizens of the Ottoman Empire. The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day that Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and deported from Constantinople to the region of Angora (Ankara), 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, the majority of whom were eventually murdered. The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases—the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly, and the infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian Desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. Other ethnic groups were similarly targeted for extermination in the Assyrian genocide and the Greek genocide, and their treatment is considered by some historians to be part of the same genocidal policy. Most Armenian diaspora communities around the world came into being as a direct result of the genocide.

Deportation expulsion of the people from a place or country

Deportation is the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. The term expulsion is often used as a synonym for deportation, though expulsion is more often used in the context of international law, while deportation is more used in national (municipal) law.

Labor camp prison

A labor camp or work camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor as a form of punishment under the criminal code. Labour camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons. Conditions at labor camps vary widely depending on the operators.

Mass evacuation, forced displacement, expulsion, and deportation of millions of people took place across most countries involved in World War II. A number of these phenomena were categorised as violations of fundamental human values and norms by the Nuremberg Tribunal after the war ended. The mass movement of people – most of them refugees – had either been caused by the hostilities, or enforced by the former Axis and the Allied powers based on ideologies of race and ethnicity, culminating in the postwar border changes enacted by international settlements. The refugee crisis created across formerly occupied territories in World War II provided the context for much of the new international refugee and global human rights architecture existing today.

Population transfer in the Soviet Union

Population transfer in the Soviet Union refers to forced transfer of various groups from the 1930s up to the 1950s ordered by Joseph Stalin and may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population, deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite directions to fill the ethnically cleansed territories.

Deportation of the Kalmyks genocidal deportation of the Kalmyks to Siberia

The Kalmyk deportations of 1943, codename Operation Ulusy was the Soviet deportation of more than 93,000 people of Kalmyk nationality, and non-Kalmyk women with Kalmyk husbands, on 28–31 December 1943. Families and individuals were forcibly relocated in cattle wagons to special settlements for forced labor in Siberia. Kalmyk women married to non-Kalmyk men were exempted from the deportations. The government's official reason for the deportation was an accusation of Axis collaboration during World War II based on the approximately 5,000 Kalmyks who fought in the Nazi-affiliated Kalmykian Cavalry Corps. The government refused to acknowledge that more than 23,000 Kalmyks served in the Red Army and fought against Axis forces at the same time.

Soviet deportations from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina

The Soviet deportations from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina took place between late 1940 and 1951 and were part of Joseph Stalin's policy of political repression of the potential opposition to the Soviet power. The deported were typically moved to so-called "special settlements" (спецпоселения).

Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union

Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the Soviet Union to be part of German war reparations for the damage inflicted by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union during World War II. German civilians in Germany and Eastern Europe were deported to the USSR after World War II as forced laborers, while ethnic Germans living in the USSR were deported during World War II and conscripted for forced labor. German prisoners of war were also used as a source of forced labor during and after the war by the Soviet Union and the Western Allies.

Extermination through labour Killing prisoners by means of forced labour

Extermination through labour was the practice of concentration camps in Nazi Germany to kill prisoners by means of forced labour.

Circassian genocide ethnic cleansing, killing, and expulsion of the majority of the Circassians from their homeland Circassia in the aftermath of the Caucasian War in the last quarter of the 19th century

The Circassian genocide was the Russian Empire's ethnic cleansing, killing, forced migration, and expulsion of the majority of the Circassians from their historical homeland Circassia, which roughly encompassed the major part of the North Caucasus and the northeast shore of the Black Sea. This occurred in the aftermath of the Caucasian War in the last quarter of the 19th century. The displaced people moved primarily to the Ottoman Empire.

Deportation of the Chechens and Ingush

The Deportation of the Chechens and Ingush, also known as Aardakh, Operation Lentil was the Soviet forced transfer of the whole of the Vainakh populations of the North Caucasus to Central Asia on February 23, 1944, during World War II. The expulsion, preceded by the 1940–44 insurgency in Chechnya, was ordered by NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria after approval by Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, as a part of a Soviet forced settlement program and population transfer that affected several million members of non-Russian Soviet ethnic minorities between the 1930s and the 1950s.

German mistreatment of Soviet prisoners of war

During World War II, Nazi Germany engaged in a policy of deliberate maltreatment of Soviet prisoners of war (POWs), in contrast to their treatment of British and American POWs. This resulted in some 3.3 to 3.5 million deaths.

Forced labor of Hungarians in the Soviet Union forced labor in the aftermath of the World War II

The topic of forced labor of Hungarians in the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II was not researched until the fall of Communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. While exact numbers are not known, it is estimated that up to 600,000 Hungarians were captured altogether, including an estimated 200,000 civilians. An estimated 200,000 citizens perished. It was part of a larger system of the usage of foreign forced labor in the Soviet Union.

Operation Priboi was the code name for the Soviet mass deportation from the Baltic states on 25–28 March 1949. The action is also known as the March deportation by Baltic historians. More than 90,000 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, labeled as enemies of the people, were deported to forced settlements in inhospitable areas of the Soviet Union. Over 70% of the deportees were women, and children under the age of 16.

German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union

Approximately three million German prisoners of war were captured by the Soviet Union during World War II, most of them during the great advances of the Red Army in the last year of the war. The POWs were employed as forced labor in the Soviet wartime economy and post-war reconstruction. By 1950 almost all surviving POWs had been released, with the last prisoner returning from the USSR in 1956. According to Soviet records 381,067 German Wehrmacht POWs died in NKVD camps. German historian Rüdiger Overmans maintains that it seems entirely plausible, while not provable, that one million died in Soviet custody. He also believes that there were men who actually died as POWs amongst those listed as missing-in-action (MIA).

Ra's al-'Ayn camps were desert death camps near Ra's al-'Ayn city, where many Armenians were deported and slaughtered during the Armenian Genocide. The site became "synonymous with Armenian suffering".

Soviet deportations from Lithuania were a series of 35 mass deportations carried out in Lithuania, a country that was occupied as a constituent socialist republic of the Soviet Union, in 1941 and 1945–1952. At least 130,000 people, 70% of them women and children, were forcibly transported to labor camps and other forced settlements in remote parts of the Soviet Union, particularly in the Irkutsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai. Among the deportees were about 4,500 Poles. These deportations do not include Lithuanian partisans or political prisoners deported to Gulags. Deportations of the civilians served a double purpose: repressing resistance to Sovietization policies in Lithuania and providing free labor in sparsely inhabited areas of the Soviet Union. Approximately 28,000 of Lithuanian deportees died in exile due to poor living conditions. After Stalin's death in 1953, the deportees were slowly and gradually released. The last deportees were released only in 1963. Some 60,000 managed to return to Lithuania, while 30,000 were prohibited from settling back in their homeland. Similar deportations took place in Latvia, Estonia, and other parts of the Soviet Union. Lithuania observes the annual Mourning and Hope Day on June 14 in memory of those deported.

Occupation of Poland (1939–1945) Occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the Second World War (1939–1945)

The occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II (1939–1945) began with the German-Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, and it was formally concluded with the defeat of Germany by the Allies in May 1945. Throughout the entire course of the foreign occupation, the territory of Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union (USSR) with the intention of eradicating Polish culture and subjugating its people by occupying German and Soviet powers. In summer-autumn of 1941, the lands annexed by the Soviets were overrun by Germany in the course of the initially successful German attack on the USSR. After a few years of fighting, the Red Army drove the German forces out of the USSR and across Poland from the rest of Central and Eastern Europe.

Soviet Union authorities and leaders officially condemned nationalism and proclaimed internationalism, including the right of nations and peoples to self-determination. However, in practice they conducted complete opposite policies including but not limited to; systematic large-scale cleansing of ethnic minorities, political repression and various forms of ethnic and social discrimination, including state-enforced antisemitism, Tatarophobia, and Polonophobia.

References

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