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The Death Van

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The gas van or gas wagon (Russian: душегубка (dushegubka); German: Gaswagen) was a vehicle reequipped as a mobile gas chamber. The vehicle had an air-tight compartment for victims, into which exhaust fumes were transmitted while the engine was running. The victims were gassed with carbon monoxide, resulting in death by monoxide poisoning and suffocation. The gas van was invented and used by the Soviet secret police NKVD in the late 1930s during the Great Purge.[2][3][4][5][6][7] It was later widely implemented as an extermination method in Nazi Germany to kill enemies of the regime, mostly Jews.


The gas van was invented in the Soviet Union[2][3][4][9][10] in 1936,[7] by Isay Berg, the head of the administrative and economic department of the NKVD of Moscow Oblast which suffocated batches of prisoners with engine fumes in a camouflaged bread van while on the drive out to the mass graves at Butovo, where the prisoners were subsequently buried.[5] According to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "I. D. Berg was ordered to carry out the decisions of the NKVD troika of Moscow Oblast, and Berg was decently carrying out this assignment: he was driving people to the executions by shooting. But, when in Moscow Oblast there came to be three troikas having their sessions simultaneously, the executioners could not cope with the load. They hit upon a solution: to strip the victims naked, to tie them up, plug their mouths and throw them into a closed truck, disguised from the outside as a bread van. During transportation the fuel gases came into the truck, and when delivered to the farthest [execution] ditch the arrestees were already dead.[6]". Berg denied that he was inventor of the gas van.

Not a new invention.

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What do the vans look like? Do they have a snappy logo and slogan? "Go Dutch".

More seriously, I think that ultimately people should be able to choose when to end it all if they so wish, as long as every care is taken by qualified medics to assess the situation.

A job I would hate to do though, even if it brings relief to a sufferer.

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Perhaps they could be made to look like Ice Cream Vans, and play happy jingles.

"Mr Snuffy"

"Stop me and buy it"

Didn't Duncan Bannatyne start off with ice cream vans and move on to care homes? He'd be the first to get into this market.

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