The land of nightmares and death

“Gross Rosen was not a designated mass-murder establishment. Like many Nazi concentration camps, it was simply a place where people died, usually within six months. It was not a site for sophisticated medical experiments, but prisoners were sometimes used for cruder research, such as testing army boots by marching interminably around the compounds while carrying heavy loads. Wholesale killings took place only occasionally. One day when prisoners returned from the stone quarries, from the window of his barracks [prisoner Nikolai] Maslennikov saw a chain of wagons rattling past on the narrow-gauge railway to the crematorium, laden with women and children and old people. ‘The eyes of each bore a different expression,’ he said. ‘I have seen them in my dreams forever after.’ ” – Max Hastings, Armageddon

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