Why did the Gestapo keep the destination of the deportees a secret from them in Night?

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The Gestapo's decision to not tell the deportees their destination was strategic and filled the Jewish prisoners with uncertainty and fear. The Jews were already in a state of disbelief and despair by the presence of the Nazis and the rumors surrounding their destination. If the Gestapo were to disclose...

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The Gestapo's decision to not tell the deportees their destination was strategic and filled the Jewish prisoners with uncertainty and fear. The Jews were already in a state of disbelief and despair by the presence of the Nazis and the rumors surrounding their destination. If the Gestapo were to disclose the truth to the deportees about being taken to either the Galician forest and executed or traveling to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, they would risk a possible rebellion by the frightened Jews. The Gestapo's decision to not disclose the destination of the deportees also intensified the feelings of fear and uncertainty among the Jews, which ensured their compliance. Without knowledge of their destination, the Jewish prisoners held onto the hope that they would be taken to other ghettos or placed in manual labor camps together. They had no way of anticipating the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau and were terrified when they arrived to witness the burning bodies and the flames rising from the crematorium.

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There was no real reason for the German army to tell those being deported where they were being taken. Those being transported were not given any choice of destination and were not given any alternatives as to when they were removed from their residential locations. It was easier to simply round them up and take them away. Rumors could provide answers that served to reassure those left behind that those who had been taken away were not being ill-treated, which bought time for the beginning stages of the Holocaust without public scrutiny or any chance of reprisal or disapproval.

The deportees were quickly forgotten. A few days after they left, it was rumored that they were in Galicia, working, and even that they were content with their fate.

As the war progressed, the Germans also had to open more camps and to transport prisoners from place to place. It was simpler to dispense with informing those being transported of where they were headed.

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