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JDC at Belsen DP Camp

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1992.272.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0799 | Film ID: 513

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    JDC at Belsen DP Camp


    Various activities at Belsen DP camp, occasional emphasis on JDC work. JDC cars in parking lot near barracks. Scenes include committee meetings, meeting at memorial, soccer game, printing camp newspaper, nursery, congress meetings, retraining shops, etc.
    Event:  1946-1947
    Belsen, Germany
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    11:34:08:00 to 11:47:11:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 513 Video: U-matic - 3/4 inch - color - PAL
      Master 513 Video: U-matic - 3/4 inch - color - PAL
      Master 513 Video: U-matic - 3/4 inch - color - PAL
      Master 513 Video: U-matic - 3/4 inch - color - PAL
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 513 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Preservation 513 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Preservation 513 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Preservation 513 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This archival media can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing stations.
    National Center for Jewish Film
    Conditions on Use
    Contact NCJF at for permission to reproduce and use this film.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased film excerpts from the National Center for Jewish Film via a transfer at John E. Allen, Inc. in November 1992.
    USHMM paid for original transfer. If necessary, we may borrow the one inch copy from NCJF. This digital file made from videotape bry crawford in 2014 was not clipped properly and is missing video contents.

    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.

    **There are burn-in time codes on the intermediate Betacam SP (Protection) video. A clean copy must be ordered directly from NCJF.**
    Copied From
    16mm b/w print
    Film Source
    National Center for Jewish Film
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 1137
    Source Archive Number: Belsen R3
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:04:18
    This page:

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