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The Final Tally

Residents of Nordhausen, under the supervision of American soldiers, bury the dead of the Boelcke Barracks concentration camp in a row grave. On the right side of the trench, some men carry a stretcher with a dead body past. The trench is filled tightly with corpses.
Residents of Nordhausen bury the dead of the Boelcke Barracks subcamp in a row grave under the supervision of American soldiers, mid-April 1945. Photo: Joseph Mendelsohn.
The entire path in the center of the frame is full of emaciated corpses. Further back, people in civilian clothes are carrying more dead bodies. On the left in the background you can see US soldiers supervising everything.
Residents of Nordhausen carry deceased prisoners for burial in mass graves under the supervision of American soldiers, 1945. Photo: US Signal Corps.
Dead, naked bodies in a trench-like mass grave.
Burial of the dead of Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp in mass graves. Photo: US Signal Corps.

Some 60,000 persons were deported to the Mittelbau camps between August 1943 and March 1945. The overall number of deaths cannot be precisely determined. About 12,000 were officially registered in the SS files. In addition, there were an unknown number of unregistered cases of inmates dying or being killed in the Mittelbau camps, over 5,000 dying persons sent on extermination transports to Lublin and Bergen-Belsen in early 1944 and March 1945, and an unknown number of inmates who did not survive the death marches following the vacation of the Mittelbau camps in April 1945. The names of approximately 1,300 concentration camp inmates whose bodies the American soldiers found in the Boelcke casern during the liberation in  April 1945 are also not registered. Even on the basis of a conservative estimate, it can be assumed that at least 20,000 inmates did not survive deportation to Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp.

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