Regular as clock work

People nowadays often complain when a train is running late, me included by the way. However recently I have changed my way of thinking about that.

Throughout Europe, during World War 2 the railways were used to accommodate an industrialized scale of murder. This could only be done if the trains ran on time. The picture at the start of the blog is of a train at Westerbork, which was operated by the NS,Nederlandsche Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways).

Nearly 107,000 people were deported from camp Westerbork with 97 transports. On 15 July 1942 the first transport left for Auschwitz-Birkenau. From March 2, 1943 to November 16, 1943 there was a weekly schedule: every Tuesday a train with a thousand and sometimes more than three thousand people left. The last transport left on September 13, 1944.

The transport were regular as clock work.

In June 2019 the Dutch railway has accepted a recommendation that it pay up to €50m to relatives of thousands of people it transported to Nazi death camps during the second world war. That figure is really like a drop in the ocean.



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