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Belsen immediately after liberation

Film | Accession Number: 1991.251.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0061 | Film ID: 9

Overturned truck burning (same trucks which carried corpses in earlier shots) - Sgt. Lewis writes it was necessary to burn the wagon in order to "prevent any danger of Typhus spreading". British soldier gives cigarette to female survivor; he sits in jeep. View of mass grave over right shoulder of (Father?) Morrison. Profile of Jewish priest Reverend L.H. Hardman. MS of Father Morrison and Father Kadziolka, a Polish priest in civilian clothing, as they stand by grave and perform ceremony. Barbed wire in background. MCU, survivor seated, looking off in distance. VAR CUs of male survivors, same VCU. Survivors speaking. Woman in striped uniform washes hands in bucket. Women slowly stirring/eating soup inside a tent. One woman, bundled up, hanging clothes on fence.

16:53:05 CU, woman combing hair in mirror, solemn, serious. This is Trudy Tortarolo. According to the cameraman's report, she is "a German by birth but married to a Frenchman and so spiritually she, too, is French. She was appointed by the Germans as a 'Group Leader' of 180 other women in the camp and as such was responsible for their behaviour. The Germans tried to make her whip the other women for misdemeanours, but she refused."

MLS, two women stir/tend to soup in bucket, seen through a tent. Clogs and striped pants visible. Two women shake out quilt, sheets hanging in BG. One woman with checked kerchief scrubbing clothes in soapy bucket of water. Man polishing shoes with a brush, shaving. CU, faces of women singing in small group around Reverend Hardman as he conducts evening service - poor focus in these CUs. MCU over shoulders of congregation to pick up Star of David medallion on one woman's necklace. MCU of the backs of German officials and British guard looking over mass grave. LS, crowd of Germans (soldiers and civilians) gathered at edge of mass grave, part of service. Same three men from start of reel (seen from different angle), semi-profile of SS men in line. MS three SS men lying on ground with bayonet pointed at them. Two figures unconscious, one lying down and awake. CU, woman screaming. CU, Burgermeister's faces as SS unload corpses. Female partially dressed. CUs of individual SS men dragging bodies, including Fritz Klein. Corpses being carried over the shoulder of SS. MS of Sgt. W. Lawrie filming as SS man drags corpse along by its arms and another as SS man carries female corpse. Long sequence focusing on feet/legs of SS and corpses going to grave, toes of corpses dragging in sand, socks against the leather boots of the SS men. VCU female survivor yelling. Bodies fall into pit. SS in pit, moving bodies. Endless line of corpses being dragged, carried, then falling in. Corpses lifted out of truck.

Event:  1945 April 24
Belsen, Germany
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Imperial War Museums
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:02:22
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