Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Overview
Bergen-Belsen was a Nazi concentration camp in Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

 in northwestern Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, southwest of the town of Bergen
Bergen, Lower Saxony
Bergen is a town in the north of Celle district on the Lüneburg Heath, in Lower Saxony, Germany. Administratively it acts as a municipal borough divided into 12 subordinate parishes based on the town and its surrounding villages: Becklingen, Belsen, Bergen, Bleckmar, Diesten, Dohnsen, Eversen,...

 near Celle
Celle
Celle is a town and capital of the district of Celle, in Lower Saxony, Germany. The town is situated on the banks of the River Aller, a tributary of the Weser and has a population of about 71,000...

. Originally established as the prisoner of war camp Stalag XI-C
Stalag XI-C
Stalg XI-C Bergen-Belsen, initially called Stalag 311, was a German Army prisoner-of-war camp located near the town of Bergen in Lower Saxony.-Timeline:...

, in 1943 it became a concentration camp on the orders of Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

, where Jewish hostages were held with the intention of exchanging them for German prisoners of war held overseas. Later still the name was applied to the displaced persons camp
Bergen-Belsen DP camp
Near the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, British forces established a displaced persons camp for refugees after World War II. The site used abandoned German army Panzer barracks for housing facilities, and after November 1945, Jewish refugees were given their own section...

 established nearby, but it is most commonly associated with the concentration camp it became as conditions deteriorated between 1943-1945.
Encyclopedia
Bergen-Belsen was a Nazi concentration camp in Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

 in northwestern Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, southwest of the town of Bergen
Bergen, Lower Saxony
Bergen is a town in the north of Celle district on the Lüneburg Heath, in Lower Saxony, Germany. Administratively it acts as a municipal borough divided into 12 subordinate parishes based on the town and its surrounding villages: Becklingen, Belsen, Bergen, Bleckmar, Diesten, Dohnsen, Eversen,...

 near Celle
Celle
Celle is a town and capital of the district of Celle, in Lower Saxony, Germany. The town is situated on the banks of the River Aller, a tributary of the Weser and has a population of about 71,000...

. Originally established as the prisoner of war camp Stalag XI-C
Stalag XI-C
Stalg XI-C Bergen-Belsen, initially called Stalag 311, was a German Army prisoner-of-war camp located near the town of Bergen in Lower Saxony.-Timeline:...

, in 1943 it became a concentration camp on the orders of Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

, where Jewish hostages were held with the intention of exchanging them for German prisoners of war held overseas. Later still the name was applied to the displaced persons camp
Bergen-Belsen DP camp
Near the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, British forces established a displaced persons camp for refugees after World War II. The site used abandoned German army Panzer barracks for housing facilities, and after November 1945, Jewish refugees were given their own section...

 established nearby, but it is most commonly associated with the concentration camp it became as conditions deteriorated between 1943-1945. During this time an estimated 50,000 Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 prisoners of war and a further 50,000 inmates died there, up to 35,000 of them dying of typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

 in the first few months of 1945.

The camp was liberated on April 15, 1945 by the British 11th Armoured Division. 60,000 prisoners were found inside, most of them seriously ill, and another 13,000 corpses lay around the camp unburied. The scenes that greeted British troops were described by the BBC's
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 Richard Dimbleby
Richard Dimbleby
Richard Dimbleby CBE was an English journalist and broadcaster widely acknowledged as one of the greatest figures in British broadcasting history.-Early life:...

, who accompanied them:
For public opinion in Western countries in the immediate post-1945 period, the name "Belsen" became emblematic of Nazi horrors in general. The even greater horrors of Auschwitz, a camp which was liberated by the Soviets and of which Western soldiers and journalists had no direct experience, became widely known only later.

Operation

In September 1939 a prisoner of war camp was established at Fallingbostel, and the nearby Bergen-Belsen site became a Häftlingslager, or "prison camp", initially housing around 500 prisoners who were used as construction workers for the Fallingbostel project. In June 1940 it became a prisoner of war camp for around 600 French and Belgian soldiers, under the authority of the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

, and in May 1941 it was designated prisoner of war camp Stalag XI-C
Stalag XI-C
Stalg XI-C Bergen-Belsen, initially called Stalag 311, was a German Army prisoner-of-war camp located near the town of Bergen in Lower Saxony.-Timeline:...

, (Stalag XI-C/311 for the Belgian and French POW's). Conditions in the camp were very basic, with inadequate food and little shelter. Around 20,000 Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 prisoners of war were sent to the camp between July 1941 and the spring of 1942, of whom about 18,000 died of hunger, cold and disease.

In 1942, Bergen-Belsen became a concentration camp, and part of it was placed under SS
Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

 command in April 1943. Having initially been designated Zivilinterniertenlager ("civilian internment camp"), in June 1943 it was redesignated Aufenthaltslager ("holding camp"), since the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

 stipulated that the former type of facility must be open to inspection by international committees. This was the "Star Camp" (so called because the inmates were made to wear the yellow star badge that designated them Jews). The Star Camp held several thousand Jews, mainly Dutch
History of the Jews in the Netherlands
Most history of the Jews in the Netherlands was generated between the end of the 16th century and World War II.The area now known as the Netherlands was once part of the Spanish Empire but in 1581, the northern Dutch provinces declared independence...

 Jews, who were intended to be exchanged for German civilians interned in other countries. Star Camp inmates were made to work, many of them in the "shoe commando" which salvaged usable pieces of leather from shoes collected and brought to the camp from all over Germany and Occupied Europe. Families were permitted to meet during the day, and in general the Star Camp prisoners were treated less harshly than some other classes of Bergen-Belsen prisoner until fairly late in the war, due to their perceived potential exchange value. From September 1943 Italian military internees were also held at Bergen-Belsen. In March 1944, part of the camp was redesignated as an Erholungslager ("recovery camp"), where prisoners too sick to work were brought from other camps. In August 1944, a shipment of approximately 8,000 female prisoners of various nationalities arrived from Auschwitz, most of whom were sent to Arbeitskommandos to work in factories, and from October 1944 captured Polish Home Army soldiers also began arriving at the camp. In all there were eight separate sections to the camp with different groups, treated differently according to their status.

December 1944 saw the completion of the change-over of Bergen-Belsen into a concentration camp when SS-Hauptsturmführer
Hauptsturmführer
Hauptsturmführer was a Nazi rank of the SS which was used between the years of 1934 and 1945. The rank of Hauptsturmführer was a mid-grade company level officer and was the equivalent of a Captain in the German Army and also the equivalent of captain in foreign armies...

 Josef Kramer
Josef Kramer
Josef Kramer was the Commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Dubbed "The Beast of Belsen" by camp inmates; he was a notorious Nazi war criminal, directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people...

, previously at Auschwitz-Birkenau, became the new camp commander. The number of inmates in the camp on December 1, 1944, was 15,257. In 1945, large numbers of prisoners were moved to Belsen from the eastern camps as the Soviet forces advanced. The resulting overcrowding led to a vast increase in deaths from disease (particularly typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

) and malnutrition in a camp originally designed to hold about 10,000 inmates. The number of inmates increased from 22,000 on February 1, 1945, to 41,520 on March 1, 43,042 on April 1 and ultimately to about 60,000 on April 15. The number of deaths increased from 7,000 in February to 18,168 during March and 9,000 during the first half of April. The bodies of these prisoners were buried in mass graves.

There were no gas chambers in Bergen-Belsen, since the mass executions took place in the camps further east. Nevertheless, an estimated 50,000 Jews, Czechs
Czech people
Czechs, or Czech people are a western Slavic people of Central Europe, living predominantly in the Czech Republic. Small populations of Czechs also live in Slovakia, Austria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Russia and other countries...

, Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

, anti-Nazi Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s, homosexuals, and Roma and Sinti
Sinti
Sinti or Sinta or Sinte is the name of a Romani or Gypsy population in Europe. Traditionally nomadic, today only a small percentage of the group remains unsettled...

 (Gypsies) died in the camp. Among them were Czech painter and writer Josef Čapek
Josef Capek
Josef Čapek was a Czech artist who was best known as a painter, but who was also noted as a writer and a poet. He invented the word robot, which was introduced into literature by his brother, Karel Čapek.- Biography :...

 (est. April 1945), as well as famous Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 residents Anne Frank
Anne Frank
Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank is one of the most renowned and most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Acknowledged for the quality of her writing, her diary has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films.Born in the city of Frankfurt...

 (who died of typhus) and her sister Margot
Margot Frank
Margot Betti Frank was the older sister of Anne Frank, whose deportation order from the Gestapo hastened the Frank family into hiding, and who subsequently perished in Bergen-Belsen...

, who died there in March 1945. The average life expectancy of an inmate was nine months.

After the war, there were allegations that the camp (or possibly a section of it), was "of a privileged nature", compared to others. A lawsuit filed by the Jewish community in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

 against 55 alleged collaborators claims that 53 of them were sent to Bergen-Belsen "as a special favor" granted by the Germans.

Liberation

When the British and Canadians advanced on Bergen-Belsen in 1945, the German army negotiated a truce and exclusion zone around the camp to prevent the spread of typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

. Under the agreement, Hungarian and regular German troops guarding the camp returned to German lines when Allied troops liberated the camp on April 15, 1945. Although many SS guards had fled the camp, a small number remained, wearing white armbands as a sign of surrender. The retreating Germans sabotaged the water supply to the barracks, making it difficult for the Allied troops to treat the ill prisoners.

When British and Canadian troops finally entered they found thousands of bodies unburied and approximately 55,000 inmates, most acutely sick and starving. Over the next days the surviving prisoners were deloused and moved to a nearby German Panzer
Panzer
A Panzer is a German language word that, when used as a noun, means "tank". When it is used as an adjective, it means either tank or "armoured" .- Etymology :...

 army camp, which became the Bergen-Belsen DP camp
Bergen-Belsen DP camp
Near the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, British forces established a displaced persons camp for refugees after World War II. The site used abandoned German army Panzer barracks for housing facilities, and after November 1945, Jewish refugees were given their own section...

. The remaining SS personnel were then forced by armed Allied troops to bury the bodies in pits.

Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was then burned to the ground by flamethrowing
Flamethrower
A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to project a long controllable stream of fire.Some flamethrowers project a stream of ignited flammable liquid; some project a long gas flame. Most military flamethrowers use liquids, but commercial flamethrowers tend to use high-pressure propane and...

 "Bren gun" carriers
Universal Carrier
The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrong. Produced between 1934 and 1960, the vehicle was used widely by British Commonwealth forces during the Second World War...

 and Churchill Crocodile
Churchill Crocodile
The Churchill Crocodile was a British flame-throwing tank of late Second World War. It was a variant of the Tank, Infantry, Mk VI Churchill Mark VII, although the Churchill Mark IV was initially chosen to be the base vehicle....

 tanks because of the typhus epidemic and louse
Louse
Lice is the common name for over 3,000 species of wingless insects of the order Phthiraptera; three of which are classified as human disease agents...

 infestation. The name Belsen after this time refer to events at the Bergen-Belsen DP camp
Bergen-Belsen DP camp
Near the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, British forces established a displaced persons camp for refugees after World War II. The site used abandoned German army Panzer barracks for housing facilities, and after November 1945, Jewish refugees were given their own section...

.

In spite of massive efforts to help the survivors, about another 9,000 died in April, and by the end of June 1945 another 4,000 had died (after liberation a total of 13,994 people died). On the 13th day after liberation, the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 bombed one of the hospitals in the DP camp, injuring and killing several patients and Red Cross workers. The total number of deaths at Bergen-Belsen from 1943 to June 1945 was about 50,000.

The British troops and medical staff tried these diets to feed the prisoners, in this order:
  • Bully beef from Army rations. Most of the prisoners' digestive systems were in too weak a state from long-term starvation to handle such food.
  • Skimmed milk
    Skimmed milk
    Skimmed milk , or skim milk is made when all the cream is removed from whole milk .Sometimes only half the cream is removed, this is called semi-skimmed milk....

    . The result was a bit better, but still far from acceptable.
  • Bengal Famine Mixture. This is a rice-and-sugar-based mixture which had achieved good results after the Bengal famine of 1943
    Bengal famine of 1943
    The Bengal famine of 1943 struck the Bengal. Province of pre-partition India. Estimates are that between 1.5 and 4 million people died of starvation, malnutrition and disease, out of Bengal’s 60.3 million population, half of them dying from disease after food became available in December 1943 As...

    , but it proved less suitable to Europeans than to Bengalis because of the differences in the food to which they were accustomed. Adding the common ingredient paprika
    Paprika
    Paprika is a spice made from the grinding of dried fruits of Capsicum annuum . In many European languages, the word paprika refers to bell peppers themselves. The seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes. Paprika can range from mild to hot...

     to the mixture made it more palatable to these Europeans and recovery started.

Aftermath

Many of the former SS staff that survived the typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

 epidemic were tried by the British at the Belsen Trial
Belsen Trial
The Belsen Trial was one of several trials that the Allied occupation forces conducted against former officials and functionaries of Nazi Germany after the end of World War II...

. At the trial, the world got its first view of Irma Grese
Irma Grese
Irma Ida Ilse Grese was employed at the Nazi concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, and was a warden of the women's section of Bergen-Belsen....

, Elisabeth Volkenrath
Elisabeth Volkenrath
Elisabeth Volkenrath was German supervisor at several Nazi concentration camps during World War II....

, Juana Bormann
Juana Bormann
Juana Bormann was a prison guard at several Nazi concentration camps, and was executed as a war criminal at Hamelin after a trial in 1945...

, Fritz Klein
Fritz Klein (Nazi)
Fritz Klein was a German Nazi physician hanged for his role in atrocities at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during the Holocaust....

, Josef Kramer
Josef Kramer
Josef Kramer was the Commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Dubbed "The Beast of Belsen" by camp inmates; he was a notorious Nazi war criminal, directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people...

, and the rest of the SS men and women who before served at Mittelbau Dora, Ravensbrück, Auschwitz I, II, III, and Neuengamme. Many of the female guards had served at small Gross Rosen subcamps at Neusalz, Langenleuba, and the Mittelbau-Dora
Mittelbau-Dora
Mittelbau-Dora was a Nazi Germany labour camp that provided workers for the Mittelwerk V-2 rocket factory in the Kohnstein, situated near Nordhausen, Germany....

 subcamp at Gross Werther. Dozens of the personnel of Bergen-Belsen were found guilty of murder and of crimes against humanity, and most of those were hanged.

Bergen-Belsen fell into neglect after the burning of the buildings and the closure of the nearby displaced persons' camp. The area reverted to heath, with few traces of the camp remaining. Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

's visit to West Germany in 1985 (see Bitburg) included a hastily arranged stop at Bergen-Belsen, which prompted the West Germans to put together a small documentation center. It soon became inadequate for the accumulating archives, for the general liberalizing process of German identity building after the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 fell, and for the growing public appetite abroad for Holocaust museums, along with the tourist economy they generated. On April 15, 2005 there was a commemorative ceremony, and many ex-prisoners and ex-liberating troops attended.

In October 2007 the redesigned memorial site was opened, including a large new Documentation Centre and permanent exhibition on the edge of the newly redefined camp, whose structure and layout can now be traced. The site is open to the public and includes a monument to the dead, some individual memorial stones and a "House of Silence" for reflection.

Personal accounts

  • Michael Bentine
    Michael Bentine
    Michael Bentine CBE was a British comedian, comic actor and founding member of the Goons. A Peruvian Briton by heritage as a result of his father's nationality, In 1971 Bentine received the Order of Merit of Peru because of his fund-raising work for the 1970 Great Peruvian...

     wrote this on his encounter with Belsen:

We were headed for an airstrip outside
Celle Air Base
Celle Air Base is a military airbase of the German Army. The airfield is situated southwest of the city of Celle, Lower Saxony, Germany. It was opened in 1934 and has been in military use ever since...

 Celle
Celle
Celle is a town and capital of the district of Celle, in Lower Saxony, Germany. The town is situated on the banks of the River Aller, a tributary of the Weser and has a population of about 71,000...

, a small town, just of Hanover
Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

. We had barely cranked to a halt and started to set up the ‘ops’ tent, when the Typhoon
Hawker Typhoon
The Hawker Typhoon was a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft. While the Typhoon was designed to be a medium-high altitude interceptor, and a direct replacement for the Hawker Hurricane, several design problems were encountered, and the Typhoon never completely satisfied...

s thundered into the circuit and broke formation for their approach. As they landed on the hastily repaired strip – a ‘Jock’ [Scottish] doctor raced up to us in his jeep.

‘Got any medical orderlies
Orderly
A medical orderly , is a hospital attendant whose job consists of assisting medical and/or nursing staff with various nursing and/or medical interventions. These duties are classified as routine tasks involving no risk for the patient.- Job details :Orderlies are often utilized in various hospital...

?’ he shouted above the roar of the aircraft engines. ‘Any K ration
K-ration
The K-ration was an individual daily combat food ration which was introduced by the United States Army during World War II. It was originally intended as an individually packaged daily ration for issue to airborne troops, tank corps, motorcycle couriers, and other mobile forces for short durations...

s or vitaminised chocolate?’

‘What’s up?’ I asked for I could see his face was grey with shock.

‘Concentration camp up the road,’ he said shakily, lighting a cigarette. ‘It’s dreadful – just dreadful.’ He threw the cigarette away untouched. ‘I’ve never seen anything so awful in my life. You just won’t believe it 'til you see it – for God’s sake come and help them!’

‘What’s it called?’ I asked, reaching for the operations map to mark the concentration camp safely out of the danger area near the bomb line.
‘Belsen,’ he said, simply.

Millions of words have been written about these horror camps, many of them by inmates of those unbelievable places. I’ve tried, without success, to describe it from my own point of view, but the words won’t come. To me Belsen was the ultimate blasphemy.

After VE. Day I flew up to Denmark with Kelly, a West Indian pilot who was a close friend. As we climbed over Belsen, we saw the flame-throwing Bren carrier
Universal Carrier
The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrong. Produced between 1934 and 1960, the vehicle was used widely by British Commonwealth forces during the Second World War...

s trundling through the camp – burning it to the ground. Our light Bf 108
Messerschmitt Bf 108
-Popular culture:Bf 108s and postwar Nord 1000s, played the role of Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters in war movies, including The Longest Day, 633 Squadron, Von Ryan's Express and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.-See also:-References:Notes...

 rocked in the superheated air, as we sped above the curling smoke, and Kelly had the last words on it.

‘Thank Christ for that,’ he said, fervently.

And his words sounded like a benediction.

  • Banksy
    Banksy
    Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique...

    's internet-based manifesto
    Manifesto
    A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds. Manifestos may also be life stance-related.-Etymology:...

     contained an account by Mervin Willett Gonin DSO
    Distinguished Service Order
    The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

     of the immediate aftermath to the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, including an extract from Gonin's diary sourced by the Imperial War Museum
    Imperial War Museum
    Imperial War Museum is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. The museum was founded during the First World War in 1917 and intended as a record of the war effort and sacrifice of Britain and her Empire...

    .
  • Leonard Webb
    Leonard Webb
    Leonard James Webb was a British World War II veteran who was present at the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.-Early life:...

    , British veteran from the liberation of the camp.
  • Leslie Hardman
    Leslie Hardman
    Reverend Leslie Henry Hardman MBE, HCF, , was an Orthodox Rabbi and the first Jewish British Army Chaplain to enter Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, an experience "that made him a public figure, both within his community and outside it".-Early life:Hardman was born in Glynneath, Wales to a Polish...

    , British Army
    British Army
    The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

     Jewish Chaplain
    Military chaplain
    A military chaplain is a chaplain who ministers to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and other members of the military. In many countries, chaplains also minister to the family members of military personnel, to civilian noncombatants working for military organizations and to civilians within the...

     and Rabbi
    Rabbi
    In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

    , was the first Jewish Chaplain to enter the camp, two days after its liberation, and published his account in the collective book "Belsen in history and memory" http://catalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&CNT=25+records+per+page&CMD=isbn+0714647675.
  • Memories of Anne Frank
    Anne Frank
    Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank is one of the most renowned and most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Acknowledged for the quality of her writing, her diary has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films.Born in the city of Frankfurt...

    , a book by Hannah Goslar
  • In his book From Belsen to Buckingham Palace Paul Oppenheimer tells of the events leading up to the internment of his whole family at the camp and their incarceration there between February 1944 and April 1945, when he was aged 14 – 15. Following publication of the book, Oppenheimer personally talked to many groups and schools about the events he witnessed. This work is now continued by his brother Rudi, who shared the experiences.
  • Anita Lasker-Wallfisch
    Anita Lasker-Wallfisch
    Anita Lasker-Wallfisch is a German-born cellist of world renown and is a surviving member of the Women's Orchestra in Auschwitz....

     describes life in Belsen, its liberation and her period in the displaced persons camp
    Bergen-Belsen DP camp
    Near the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, British forces established a displaced persons camp for refugees after World War II. The site used abandoned German army Panzer barracks for housing facilities, and after November 1945, Jewish refugees were given their own section...

     in her autobiography Inherit the Truth http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1900357011

Media

  • The Relief of Belsen
    The Relief of Belsen
    The Relief of Belsen is a feature-length drama that was first shown on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on 15 October 2007. It depicts events that unfolded at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp following the liberation of the camp by British troops in April 1945...

     (2007 film)
  • Memorandum
    Memorandum (film)
    Memorandum is a one-hour 1965 documentary co-directed by Donald Brittain and John Spotton, following a Jewish Holocaust survivor on an emotional pilgrimage back to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Produced by John Kemeny for the National Film Board of Canada, the film received several awards...

     (1965 film)

See also

  • Holocaust Memorial Day
    Holocaust Memorial Day
    Holocaust Memorial Day or Holocaust Remembrance Day may refer to one of several commemorations of the Holocaust.-See also:* United Nations Holocaust Memorial* List of Holocaust memorials and museums...

  • List of Nazi-German concentration camps
  • Holocaust memorial landscapes in Germany
    Holocaust memorial landscapes in Germany
    Holocaust memorial landscapes in Germany encompass a large group of commemorative works dealing with the outdoor built environment. Most often these memorials attempt to keep the memory of Holocaust victims alive through dissemination of this memory to the public.- Theory :Since the end of World...


External links

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