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Double-door railroad freight car with brakeman’s cabin of the type used to transport victims throughout the Nazi camp system

Object | Accession Number: 1989.225.1

Association type 2 (A2), Gedeckter (G, covered) freight wagon owned by the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR, German National Railway), one of several types used to transport victims through the Nazi camp system and to killing centers during the Holocaust. The car, numbered 31599, is a 15T (rated to carry 15 tons), equipped with a brakeman’s box, making it a Karlsruhe class wagon. The cars continued to be used after World War II, and as parts on the cars degraded, they were replaced with others from a variety of manufacturers. A2 railcars were produced from 1910-1927, and were originally used to transport goods that required protection from the elements. Deportation trains were ordered by telegram or telex, and gave the amount and type of cars needed. The actual trains were compiled at the stations from the cars available there. Before each transport left, the railway guard listed all cars by their identification numbers. Few of these lists survived, as they were not kept after a train had reached its destination. Jewish prisoners were then packed into railcars, approximately eighty people per car, and transported into the Nazi camp system, and eventually to killing centers in German-occupied Poland. During transport, prisoners were denied food and water, and many deportees died before the trains reached their destinations. Armed guards shot anyone trying to escape. The Reichsbahn charged a base rate of third class passenger fare for a deportee, children under ten traveled at half price and those under four traveled free, and special group rates were offered if at least four hundred people were in one shipment. Payment for transport was handled by the Reich Security Main Office headed by Adolf Eichmann.

manufacture:  1920
manufacture: Esslingen (Germany)
acquired: Poland
Tools and Equipment
Object Type
Freight cars (lcsh)
Railroad cars.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Institute of National Remembrance
Record last modified: 2023-08-24 15:21:39
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