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Concentration Camp Bergen-Belsen

Below you can see photographs taken at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Bergen-Belsen (or Belsen) was a Nazi concentration camp in Lower Saxony  in northwestern Germany, southwest of the town of Bergen near Celle. Originally established as the prisoner-of-war camp Stalag XI-C, in 1943 it became a concentration camp on the orders of Heinrich Himmler, where Jewish hostages
were held with the
intention of exchanging
them for German prisoners-of-war held overseas.

A view of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after the liberation of the camp. Bergen-Belsen, after April 15, 1945.
Courtesy of

Later still the name was applied to the displaced persons camp 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 prisoners-of-war and a further 50,000 inmates died there, up to 35,000 of them dying of typhus in the first few months of 1945.

The Liberation of Belsen Concentration Camp April 1945: Women and children herded together in one of the barrack blocks. - 17-18 April 1945.
From Wikipedia.

The camp was liberated on April 15, 1945 by the British 11th Armoured Division. Sixty thousand 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 Richard Dimbleby, who accompanied them....

Scene inside the cleansing station, nicknamed the "Human Laundry",
 which was housed in a former stable for cavalry horses at the newly established hospital for Belsen inmates.
The photograph shows some of the sixty tables, each staffed by two German doctors and two German nurses, at which the sick were washed and deloused.
- 1-4 May 1945.
From Wikipedia.

"...Here over an acre of ground lay dead and dying people. You could not see which was which... The living lay with their heads against the corpses and around them moved the awful, ghostly procession of emaciated, aimless people, with nothing to do and with no hope of life, unable to move out of your way, unable to look at the terrible sights around them..."

Female survivors lie in bunks
inside the barracks of the
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
From the

 "... Babies had been born here, tiny wizened things that could not live ... A mother, driven mad, screamed at a British sentry to give her milk for her child, and thrust the tiny mite into his arms, then ran off, crying terribly. He opened the bundle and found the baby had been dead for days.

This day at Belsen was the most horrible of my life."

The Liberation of Belsen Concentration Camp April 1945: A British Army bulldozer pushes bodies into a mass grave at Belsen.
- 19 April 1945.

The Liberation of Belsen Concentration Camp April 1945: A British Army bulldozer pushes bodies into a mass grave at Belsen.
- 19 April 1945.

Mass Grave 3 of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, photographed by a British soldier after the camp's liberation in April 1945. Dr. Fritz Klein, a German doctor at the camp, can be seen in the foreground standing amongst the corpses. The Small Arms Range is visible in the background, April 23, 1945. From Wikipedia.

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Text adapted from Wikipedia.


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