- ''This term is also occasionally used as a popular (albeit technically incorrect) title for the Funeral March movement of the Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2.
A death march is a long-distance march where people march or walk in extremely bad weather conditions with disregard of life or death of the victims. The victims are usually prisoners. These victims are often forced to march without anything to eat and no place to sleep.
Examples of Death Marches
- In 1835, Alexander Herzen encountered emaciated cantonists, Jewish boys (some as young as 8 years old) conscripted to the Imperial Russian army. Herzen was being convoyed to his exile at Vyatka, the cantonists were marched to Kazan and their (sympathetic) officer complained that a third had already died.
- In 1838, the Cherokee nation had to march westward towards Oklahoma. This became known as the Trail of Tears where an estimated 4,000 men, women, and children died during relocation.
- During the 1915 Armenian Genocide, thousands of men, women and children were forced into death marches through the desert of Deir ez-Zor where most of them perished, leaving few survivors. Today there is a memorial in Deir ez-Zor for the marchers.
- During the years 1914-1923 large numbers of Pontic Greeks were subjected to death marches, in series of events that became known as the Pontic Greek genocide.
- In the Pacific Theatre, the Imperial Japanese Army conducted death marches, including the infamous Bataan Death March and Sandakan Death Marches.
- The term 'death march'- was used in the context of the World War II history by victims and then by historians to refer to the forcible movement between fall 1944 and April 1945 by Nazi Germany of thousands of prisoners, mostly Jews, from Nazi concentration camps near the advancing war front to camps inside Germany.
- At the end of World War II, ethnic Germans were often forced to relocate from previously occupied areas under the Nazi regime, including Poland and the Sudetenland in summer 1945.
- in the Brünn death march of Summer 1945, Sudeten Germans were expelled by Czechs from Sudetenland to Austria, killing about 5200 in the process
- The 1975 forced evacuation of Phnom Penh in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.
Biggest March was on Jan' 1945.