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Belsen concentration camp; displaced persons

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1994.119.1 | RG Number: RG-60.2218 | Film ID: 856

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    Belsen concentration camp; displaced persons


    Scenes of the Belsen Concentration Camp, and the Belsen Displaced Persons Camp. LS, barracks at far side of road, woods in BG. Displaced persons are fed and treated. MSs, dining hall, with tablecloths, survivors eating soup. INT, hospital barracks, beds filled, woman in lower bunk receiving medical care. German POWs remove dead DPs. Soldiers carrying corpses wrapped in blanket to truck. MLS, truck bed. Another body is carried through doorway. Distributing identity cards to DPs, women clustered around tables outside, writing. CU, "Allied Expeditionary Force / DP index card." MLS, men, women, and children with luggage boarding open truck. MLS, women in open truck waving as it drives away. Buildings are burned/fire-bombed to fight disease. MCU, barracks in flames. MLS, field in flames.

    Additional unrelated footage contained in "Activities in European Theatre of Operations" produced by the US Army Signal Corps.
    111 SFR 57 Reel 1:
    02:33:27 (Kiel) Sunken German ships in the Kiel (Germany) Harbor; the Europa at Bremerhaven, Germany; a midget German submarine at Copenhagen, Denmark.
    02:37:05 "The Disney Swish" shows the use of a rocket booster to speed falling bombs.
    02:38:21 "Enemy Fortifications" shows camouflaged German pillboxes in Cortina, Italy
    02:39:41 "Navy Gunboat LCS(L)3" describes the LCS(L)3 and demonstrates its fire power.
    02:42:25 "Air Strikes" B-24s drop radio-controlled azon bombs on Thailand
    111 SFR 57 Reel 2:
    02:43:45 "Air Strikes continued" Bombs dropped on the Palau Islands. Shows CUs of a plane suffering a direct hit.
    02:44:33 "Activities in the Philippines" In the Philippines, Nimitz and MacArthur meet in Manila (May 15); Gen. Kenney meets Mexican pilots. Shows many scenes of captured Japanese airplanes
    02:48:13 "Attack on Naha" Naha, Okinawa, is shelled and 6th Marines capture Sugar Loaf Hill and the city. Troops and tanks attack caves and pillboxes with various weapons and explosives. Artillery and planes bombard positions. Shows Gen. Gieger. [ends at 02:54:21]
    Event:  1945 May
    Production:  1945
    Bergen-Belsen, Germany
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
    Producer: United States. Army. Signal Corps.

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    02:35:29:00 to 02:37:04:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 856 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 856 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 856 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 856 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 856 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 856 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 856 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 856 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Public Domain
    Conditions on Use
    To the best of the Museum's knowledge, this material is in the public domain. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Bergen-Belsen, near Hanover in northwest Germany, was established in March 1943 as a special camp for prominent Jews of belligerent and neutral states, who might be exchanged for German citizens interned abroad. Conditions in the camp were good by concentration camp standards, and most prisoners were not subjected to forced labor. However, beginning in the spring of 1944 the situation deteriorated rapidly. In March Belsen was redesignated an Ehrholungslager [Recovery Camp], where prisoners of other camps who were too sick to work were brought, though none received medical treatment. As the German Army retreated in the face of the advancing Allies, the concentration camps were evacuated and their prisoners sent to Belsen. The facilites in the camp were unable to accommodate the sudden influx of thousands of prisoners and all basic services -- food, water and sanitation -- collapsed, leading to the outbreak of disease. By April 1945 over 60,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Belsen in two camps located 1.5 miles apart. Camp No. 2 was opened only a few weeks before the liberation, on the site of a military hospital and barracks. Members of the British Royal Artillery 63rd Anti-Tank Regiment liberated Belsen on April 15 and arrested its commandant, Josef Kramer. The relief operation which followed was directed by Brigadier H. L. Glyn-Hughes, Deputy Director of Medical Services of the Second Army. Between April 18 and April 28, the dead were buried. At first the SS guards were made to collect and bury the bodies, but eventually the British had to resort to bulldozers to push the thousands of bodies into mass graves. Evacuation of the camp began on April 21. After being deloused inmates were transferred to Camp No. 2, which had been converted into a temporary hospital and rehabilitation camp. As each of the barracks was cleared they were burned down to combat the spread of typhus. On May 19 evacuation was completed and two days later the ceremonial burning of the last barracks brought to an end the first stage of the relief operations. Surviving Jewish DPs were transferred to Camp Three on May 21, 1945 from camps 1 and 2. By mid to late May, Bergen-Belsen assumed the status of a displaced person's camp. In July, 6,000 former inmates were taken by the Red Cross to Sweden for convalescence, while the rest remained in the newly-established DP camp to await repatriation or emigration.
    Copied From
    35mm b/w print
    Film Source
    United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Motion Picture Reference
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 164
    Source Archive Number: 111 SFR 57 R1
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 22:02:34
    This page:

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