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Survivors rest on an embankment next to a stopped train.

On 13 April, 1945, American troops of the 743rd Tank Battalion and the 30th Infantry Division of the U.S. Ninth Army came upon a stranded train on a rail line at the town of Farsleben, near the city of Magdeburg. The train consisted of both cattle and passenger cars. It was carrying ca. 2,500 inmates, primarily Jewish, who had been held as hostages in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The SS and the Foreign Office of Nazi Germany had hoped to exchange the hostages for German civil internees in foreign countries, but with the fall of Bergen-Belsen becoming imminent the prisoners were evacuated to the east. This train was one of three that left Bergen-Belsen between April 6 and 10 bound for Theresienstadt. One train arrived there. The third train was liberated by Soviet forces outside of Troebitz.  

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