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Children at Belsen

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1995.146.1 | RG Number: RG-60.2592 | Film ID: 1000

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    Children at Belsen


    Multiple shots of a set of three swings, children playing on swings, British troops push the swings. CU of (unnamed) soldier pushing swing. MCU of children crowded on jeep, moving through camp. CU of boy's face as he sits on the hood of the jeep. Children eating soup. Shot as children file from left to right, given biscuits and chocolate. Russian Jewish woman (former internee, wearing Red Cross uniform) ringing bell as children, smiling, swarm past her, entering doorway. CU of woman (unnamed). Row of six swings set up by REME. Children playing on swings. Two close up shots of young girls smiling on swings. MS of British soldiers standing around swings and pushing them. Toddler and nurse Luba Tryszynska, The Angel of Belsen, playing on a swing. Two young boys playing table tennis while others, including British soldiers, look on. Both boys appear to be chewing gum as they play. Soldier cleaning his rifle. MS view of boy player, Sergeant Lewis, the cameraman, plays against him. MCU two small girls eating soup in bed. Nurse feeds small girl with broth, girl looks up into camera. Same scene from different angle: row of small children sitting on edge of bed watch feeding. Small boy standing near a table with tray of food, looks around. MS along row of beds to woman attendant who is feeding three small children, one points to camera, two wait in BG.
    Event:  1945
    Bergen-Belsen, Germany
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Imperial War Museums
    Camera Operator: Michael Lewis
    Subject: Luba Tryszynska-Frederick
    Luba Tryszynska, a Jewish woman from White Russia, near Brest-Litovsk, probably Kaments-Litovsk, who lost her husband Hersch and three-year old child Isaac at Auschwitz, was transferred from Auschwitz in November 1944 to Bergen Belsen, and began caring for children with permission of the camp doctor and of SS officials in December 1944. Beginning with a group of Dutch Jewish children, the “diamond” children, whom she found outside her barrack one night, but not limited to these, she and Hermina Krantz, a Jewish woman from Slovakia, also transferred from Auschwitz, were placed in charge and cared for ninety orphaned children from less than one-year old to twelve years old.

    Luba played the provider – she went all over the camp getting provisions, collecting, and winning help from some guards, who provided wood, bread, and occasionally milk. Hermina was the manager – she scrubbed the floors, washed the children, cooked and fed them. They were able to establish a regular routine, with meals at 7 am, 1pm, and 7 pm. Hermina boiled the children’s underclothes, seeking thereby to shut out the typhus that began ravaging the camp. Ultimately, nonetheless, about thirty of the children were infected. There are indications that the women had help from friendly SS guards and even received provisions for the children from women SS guards. Right until liberation, Luba and Hermina kept the orphaned children’s hut intact and the children sheltered from the worst that occurred in the camp.

    After liberation, Luba became the manager of the new children’s home under British direction, and Hermina became the chief cook. Later, Luba accompanied children back to Holland and then other children to Sweden, before she herself came to the United States. When she arrived in the United States and became an American citizen, it was noted that “the Angel of Belsen” had become a citizen. Found by some of the diamond children many years later, Luba was honored by the Queen of Holland and the mayor of Amsterdam. A recent children’s book by Michelle R. McCann about “Luba, The Angel of Belsen” has won numerous prizes, including a National Jewish Book Award.

    In the Yizkor book for Kamenets-Litovsky, Belarus, a story about “the Angel of Belsen” states she was moved to Belsen in summer, 1944 and, as a nurse, she had some advantages. She concealed the small triangle beneath the identification number tattooed on her left arm, she passed herself off as a Russian, and she was placed in a nursing shack at the camp. There, one night, outside, she discovered the children of the diamond Jews of Holland, who had been separated from their parents and brought to Belsen. She pleaded the case with Dr. Klein, the doctor from Auschwitz. She’d keep them out of the way – Klein agreed to give her a barracks and put her in charge of the children. She had 94 children – Dutch Jews, Polish Jews, and Russians. The children were fed and kept indoors. When the British arrived, they were amazed to find 94 children alive in one barrack presided over by Luba Tryszynska (she was 28 years old). Later she accompanied 64 Dutch children home, and the other children to Sweden, who were in turn adopted in Sweden and Finland. In Sweden, Luba Tryszynska married Sol Frederich, whom she met in a DP camp. He had spent five years in Oswiecim, but she did not know him there. He had relatives in the United States. They immigrated.

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    01:08:27:00 to 01:18:07:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 1000 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 1000 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 1000 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 1000 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 1000 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 1000 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 1000 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 1000 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Imperial War Museums
    Conditions on Use
    For licensing enquiries and requests, contact Imperial War Museums (IWM) at IWM also offers limited services for non-commercial parties, such as for museums, armed forces, veterans and their immediate family, family history researchers, and students. For such purposes, contact

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased these liberation segments from the Imperial War Museum in London in February 1995.
    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.

    Luba Tryszynska, The Angel of Belsen, appears at 01:15:56
    Copied From
    35mm; b/w
    Film Source
    Imperial War Museums
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2708
    Source Archive Number: A70/311/2+3
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:04:18
    This page:

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