War Crimes Commission: Belsen Concentration Camp
- Event Date
- 1945 April 24
- Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
"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 indescribable...no 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.
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