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The Infamous Belsen Concentration Camp

 Warning: Some Pictures are Graphic!

David and I went to visit the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp with our friends: Randy, Katy, Marcel, Adam, and Cathy.  There are no words to express what we saw.  The entire museum is so moving.  We saw a short film, several pictures, and different articles from the original camp.

We have posted some pictures here, but as a warning some are very graphic.  If you click on the pictures below, there is a description to give you more information.

Helpful info:  SS (Schutzstaffel = elite guard) and Wehrmacht (the German Armed Forces)


Registration cards for everyone in the camp. The ones marked “O” were the officers.


“The toilets at the camp were open ditches without any drains. These disastrous hygienic conditions conditions contributed to the spread of epidemics. Soon after their arrival at the camp, many prisoners contracted dysentery, a dangerous infection of the intestines.”


“Sanitary and hygienic conditions in the overcrowded camp were disastrous. Epidemics of typhoid fever and typhus broke out. The SS took no measures whatsoever to fight these epidemics or treat any other diseases the prisoners were suffering from.”


“The prisoners could not change their clothes and very rarely had the opportunity to wash. Typhus, transmitted by body lice, was especially feared because of the often fatal course of the disease and the high risk of infection. It would also have posed a threat to the German population. The camps did not have enough medication at their disposal.”


“Hunger and disease were the main causes of the mass deaths that occurred in Bergen-Belsen. Even though the food stored at the nearby Wehrmacht barracks were well stocked, the SS denied the undernourished and emaciated prisoners access to food.”


“The bodies were lined up on ‘Bier square’ near the POW field hospital, where they were undressed before the prisoners on burial detail took them to the cemetery.”


“From March 1945, the capacity of the camp’s crematorium was exhausted. Thousands of corpses lay rotting in the camp’s grounds.”


“Nine babies were born in the camp. Here, three of the mothers with their babies are getting more fresh air.”


“Between January and mid-April 1945 alone, hunger, thirst, epidemics and disease led to the deaths of at least 35,000 people.”


“The Infamous Belsen Concentration Camp” written in English.


“In April 1943, a part of the Bergen-Belsen camp was transferred to the authority of the SS. The SS established a concentration camp for Jewish hostages. These prisoners were to be exchanged for Germans interned abroad. From spring 1944, the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp also served as a camp for prisoners from other camps who were no longer able to work. From August 1944, female prisoners from Auschwitz were transported to Bergen-Belsen to be transferred to other concentration camps as slave laborers.”


“SS women unloading dead at the other end of the pit.” April 18, 1945


Children at the boundary of the concentration camp.


The clothes that the prisoners wore.


Prisoners were often moved around to different camps. The big squares were the larger more well known camps.

All quotes, information, and photos come from the Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen.

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