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War Crimes Commission: Belsen Concentration Camp

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1994.119.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0856 | Film ID: 832

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    War Crimes Commission: Belsen Concentration Camp


    "Belsen Concentration Camp" British Royal Artillery officers in charge of the camp describe conditions after liberation, "So far, we've buried 17,000. When we came here, conditions were food for six days...none of us are likely to forget what German people have done." 06:02:32 A woman doctor (survivor - Hadassah Bimko, later Hadassah Rosensaft), who was a prisoner in charge of the female section, describes conditions before liberation. She speaks in German, partly translated into English by the film's narrator. "There were no covers, straw stacks, or beds of any kind. Persons had to lie directly on the ground. They were given 1/12 of a loaf of bread and some watery soup daily. Almost 75% of the people were bloated from hunger. An epidemic of typhus broke out. 250 women and thousands of men died daily. In the men's camp, they cut out liver, heart, and other parts of the dead, and ate them."

    "No medicines were available, because the SS men had collected everything. Two days before the British Army came, the first Red Cross food was distributed. Two months before, 150 kilograms of chocolate had been sent to the children of the camp. Ten kilograms were distributed. The rest the Kommandant kept for himself, and used it as barter to his personal advantage."

    She concludes by saying that gynecological and other experiments were performed on 19 year old girls. 06:05:36

    Nazi camp commander Josef Kramer and captured guards. Scenes of dead and survivors, scattered all over, cooking, resting, benches, stools, tent. Woman kissing hand of a soldier-liberator. Corpses, some hauled onto truck bed. German guards (women and men) forced to bury the dead with bulldozer, operator's face covered with kerchief, holds hand to mouth, looks pained, sick. CU bodies. Kellogg affidavit.
    Event:  1945 April 24
    Production:  1945
    Belsen, Germany
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
    Director: James B. Donovan
    Director: E. R. Kellogg
    Director: George C. Stevens
    Producer: United States. Army. Signal Corps.
    James B. Donovan. United States Navy Commander. Associate Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, where he coordinated and presented all Nazi films at the trials. General Counsel to OSS. Negotiated the exchange of Bay of Pigs prisoners with Fidel Castro as an independent lawyer under backdrop of the missile crisis, securing the freedom of nearly 10,000 people. Portrayed by Tom Hanks in "Bridge of Spies".
    United States Navy Lieutenant E. R. Kellogg certifies motion pictures of Nazi concentration camps in an affidavit presented in the "Nazi Concentration Camps" film by the Americans as evidence during the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Kellogg had expertise in motion picture and photographic techniques through his employment with Twentieth Century Fox Studios in California from 1929 to 1941. He attests that he has thoroughly examined the concentration camp liberation films of the Army Signal Corps and found them to be unaltered, genuine, and true copies of the originals in the U.S. Army Signal Corps vaults.
    George Stevens (December 18, 1904 – March 8, 1975) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer. During World War II, Stevens joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps and headed a film unit from 1943 to 1946 under General Eisenhower. His unit shot footage documenting D-Day — including the only Allied European Front color film of the war — the liberation of Paris and the meeting of American and Soviet forces at the Elbe River, as well as horrific scenes from the Duben labor camp and the Dachau concentration camp. Stevens also helped prepare the Duben and Dachau footage and other material for presentation during the Nuremberg Trials. In 2008, his footage was entered into the U.S. National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress as an "essential visual record" of World War II.

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    06:01:20:00 to 06:11:45:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 832 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Master 832 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Master 832 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Master 832 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 832 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Preservation 832 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Preservation 832 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small
      Preservation 832 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - small

    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

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased this from the National Archives and Records Administration in September 1994.
    Reel 6 of The Nazi Concentration Camps, NARA 238.2.
    The USHMM contains a 16mm film print of "Nazi Concentration Camps" from National Audiovisual Center. However, there is no direct video transfer from this print. The National Archives and Records Administration contains six 35mm reels of "Nazi Concentration Camps" under original archive number 238.2. The USHMM did not obtain a copy of these reels either. Instead, the USHMM owns each subject separately, ordered by a US Army Signal Corps (111 ADC) number. The USHMM also holds a copy from the National Center for Jewish Film cataloged as RG-60.2629, Film ID 2322.

    "Nazi Concentration Camps" was compiled as evidence and shown at the Nuremberg Trials on November 29, 1945 as Prosecution Exhibit #230. It contains film evidence of Nazi atrocities at the concentration camps of Leipzig, Penig, Ohrdruf, Hadamar, Breendonck, Hanover, Arnstadt, Nordhausen, Mauthausen, Buchenwald, Dachau, and Belsen. The film was produced for the U.S. Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality in 1945. It was directed by Navy Cmdrs. James B. Donovan and E. Ray Kellogg. George C. Stevens was responsible for directing the photography and filming of the concentration camps as liberated by Allied forces. The film has also been called "Concentration Camps in Germany, 1939-1945".
    Copied From
    35mm; b/w; composite
    Film Source
    United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Motion Picture Reference
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 1276
    Source Archive Number: 111 ADC 8553
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 22:02:45
    This page:

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