The Lost Transport
April 1945: about a week before liberation, the command of Bergen-Belsen decided to transfer the entire section of the camp known as the Sternlager to Theresienstadt. The Sternlager prisoners were ostensibly of some political consequence and, the Nazis reasoned, might prove useful as exchange-barter for German nationals abroad. Three trains were used for this procedure, each headed toward Theresienstadt.
The story of the Sternlager transports is as follows. The first train left the Bergen-Belsen rail platform on April 6, 1945, with 400 inmates of the Sternlager and some 2,100 other prisoners. On April 13, at the town of Farsleben (near Magdeburg), it was liberated by the Americans. The second train, made up largely of Hungarian Jews, left for Theresienstadt on April 7, and actually reached its destination. On April 9, approximately 2,500 remaining members of the Sternlager boarded yet a third train, and this train, as far as anyone in the outside world knew, dropped off the face of the earth and became known to historians as the “Lost Transport.”
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