years ago, on April 15, 1945, British troops liberated the
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The anniversary was widely remembered
in official ceremonies and in newspaper articles that, as the following
essay shows, distort the camp's true history.
of the circumstances of its liberation, the relatively unimportant
German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen has become -- along with
Dachau and Buchenwald -- an international symbol of German barbarism.
British troops who liberated the Belsen camp three weeks before the end
of the war were shocked and disgusted by the many unburied corpses and
dying inmates they found there. Horrific photos and films of the camp's
emaciated corpses and mortally sick inmates were quickly circulated
around the globe. Within weeks the British military occupation
newspaper proclaimed: "The story of that greatest of all exhibitions of
'man's inhumanity to man' which was Belsen Concentration Camp is known
throughout the world." (note 1)
Ghastly images recorded by
Allied photographers at Belsen in mid-April 1945 and widely reproduced
ever since have greatly contributed to the camp's reputation as a
notorious extermination center. In fact, the dead of Bergen-Belsen
were, above all, unfortunate victims of war and its turmoil, not
deliberate policy. It can even be argued that they were as much victims
of Allied as of German measures.
The Bergen-Belsen camp was
located near Hannover in northwestern Germany on the site of a former
army camp for wounded prisoners of war. In 1943 it was established as
an internment camp (Aufenthaltslager) for European Jews who were to be
exchanged for German citizens held by the Allies.
9,000 Jews with citizenship papers or passports from Latin American
countries, entry visas for Palestine, or other documents making them
eligible for emigration, arrived in late 1943 and 1944 from Poland,
France, Holland and other parts of Europe. During the final months of
the war, several groups of these "exchange Jews" were transported from
Axis-occupied Europe. German authorities transferred several hundred to
neutral Switzerland, and at least one group of 222 Jewish detainees was
transferred from Belsen (by way of neutral Turkey) to
British-controlled Palestine. (note 2)
Until late 1944
conditions were generally better than in other concentration camps.
Marika Frank Abrams, a Jewish woman from Hungary, was transferred from
Auschwitz in 1944. Years later she recalled her arrival at Belsen: "...
We were each given two blankets and a dish. There was running water and
latrines. We were given food that was edible and didn't have to stand
for hours to be counted. The conditions were so superior to Auschwitz
we felt we were practically in a sanitarium." (note 3)
normally received three meals a day. Coffee and bread were served in
the morning and evening, with cheese and sausage as available. The main
mid-day meal consisted of one liter of vegetable stew. Families lived
together. Otherwise, men and women were housed in separate barracks.
Children were also held there. There were some 500
Jewish children in Belsen's "No. 1 Women's Camp" section when British
forces arrived. (note 5)
During the final months of the war,
tens of thousands of Jews were evacuated to Belsen from Auschwitz and
other eastern camps threatened by the advancing Soviets. Belsen became
severely overcrowded as the number of inmates increased from 15,000 in
December 1944 to 42,000 at the beginning of March 1945, and more than
50,000 a month later. (note 6)
Many of these Jewish prisoners
had chosen to be evacuated westwards with their German captors rather
than remain in eastern camps to await liberation by Soviet forces.
So catastrophic had conditions become during the
final months of the war that about a third of the prisoners evacuated
to Belsen in February and March 1945 perished during the journey and
were dead on arrival. (note 8)
As order broke down across
Europe during those chaotic final months, regular deliveries of food
and medicine to the camp stopped. Foraging trucks were sent to scrounge
up whatever supplies of bread, potatoes and turnips were available in
nearby towns. (note 9)
Disease was kept
under control by routinely disinfecting all new arrivals. But in early
February 1945 a large transport of Hungarian Jews was admitted while
the disinfection facility was out of order. As a result, typhus broke
out and quickly spread beyond control. (note 10)
Josef Kramer quarantined the camp in an effort to save lives, but SS
camp administration headquarters in Berlin insisted that Belsen be kept
open to receive still more Jewish evacuees arriving from the East. The
death rate soon rose to 400 a day. (note 11)
The worst killer
was typhus, but typhoid fever and dysentery also claimed many lives.
Aggravating the situation was a policy during the final months of
transferring already sick inmates from other camps to Belsen, which was
then officially designated a sick or convalescence camp (Krankenlager).
The sick women of Auschwitz, for example, were transferred to Belsen in
three groups in November-December 1944. (note 12)
chief Heinrich Himmler learned of the typhus outbreak at Bergen-Belsen,
he immediately issued an order to all appropriate officials requiring
that "all medical means necessary to combat the epidemic should be
employed ... There can be no question of skimping either with doctors
or medical supplies." However, the general breakdown of order that
prevailed on Germany by this time made it impossible to implement the
command. (note 13)
Violette Fintz, a
Jewish woman who had been deported from the island of Rhodes to
Auschwitz in mid-1944, and then to Dachau and, finally, in early 1945,
to Belsen, later compared conditions in the different camps: (note 14)
was in the beginning bearable and we had bunks to sleep on, and a small
ration of soup and bread. But as the camp got fuller, our group and
many others were given a barracks to hold about seven hundred lying on
the floor without blankets and without food or anything. It was a
pitiful scene as the camp was attacked by lice and most of the people
had typhus and cholera ... Many people talk about Auschwitz -- it was a
horrible camp. But Belsen, no words can describe it ... From my
experience and suffering, Belsen was the worst.
most famous inmate was doubtless Anne Frank, who had been evacuated
from Auschwitz in late October 1944. She succumbed to typhus in March
1945, three or four weeks before liberation.
Kramer Reports a 'Catastrophe'
a March 1, 1945, letter to Gruppenführer (General) Richard Glücks, head
of the SS camp administration agency, Commandant Kramer reported in
detail on the catastrophic situation in the Bergen-Belsen, and pleaded
for help: (note 15)
If I had sufficient
sleeping accommodation at my disposal, then the accommodation of the
detainees who have already arrived and of those still to come would
appear more possible. In addition to this question a spotted fever and
typhus epidemic has now begun, which increases in extent every day. The
daily mortality rate, which was still in the region of 60-70 at the
beginning of February, has in the meantime attained a daily average of
250-300 and will increase still further in view of the conditions which
at present prevail.
Supply. When I took over the camp, winter
supplies for 1500 internees had been indented for; some had been
received, but the greater part had not been delivered. This failure was
due not only to difficulties of transport, but also to the fact that
practically nothing is available in this area and all must be brought
from outside the area ...
For the last four days there has
been no delivery [of food] from Hannover owing to interrupted
communications, and I shall be compelled, if this state of affairs
prevails till the end of the week, to fetch bread also by means of
truck from Hannover. The trucks allotted to the local unit are in no
way adequate for this work, and I am compelled to ask for at least
three to four trucks and five to six trailers. When I once have here a
means of towing then I can send out the trailers into the surrounding
area ... The supply question must, without fail, be cleared up in the
next few days. I ask you, Gruppenführer, for an allocation of transport
State of Health. The incidence of disease is very high
here in proportion to the number of detainees. When you interviewed me
on Dec. 1, 1944, at Oranienburg, you told me that Bergen-Belsen was to
serve as a sick camp for all concentration camps in north Germany. The
number of sick has greatly increased, particularly on account of the
transports of detainees that have arrived from the East in recent times
-- these transports have sometimes spent eight or fourteen days in open
The fight against spotted fever is made extremely
difficult by the lack of means of disinfection. Due to constant use,
the hot-air delousing machine is now in bad working order and sometimes
fails for several days ...
A catastrophe is taking place for
which no one wishes to assume responsibility ... Gruppenführer, I can
assure you that from this end everything will be done to overcome the
present crisis ...
I am now asking you for your assistance as
it lies in your power. In addition to the above-mentioned points I need
here, before everything, accommodation facilities, beds, blankets,
eating utensils -- all for about 20,000 internees ... I implore your
help in overcoming this situation.
terrible conditions, Kramer did everything in his power to reduce
suffering and prevent death among the inmates, even appealing to the
hard-pressed German army. "I don't know what else to do," he told
high-ranking army officers. "I have reached the limit. Masses of people
are dying. The drinking water supply has broken down. A trainload of
food was destroyed by low-flying [Allied] war planes. Something must be
done immediately." (note 16)
Working together with both
Commandant Kramer and chief inmate representative Kuestermeier, Colonel
Hanns Schmidt responded by arranging for the local volunteer fire
department to provide water. He also saw to it that food supplies were
brought to the camp from abandoned rail cars. Schmidt later recalled
that Kramer "did not at all impress one as a criminal type. He acted
like an upright and rather honorable man. Neither did he strike me as
someone with a guilty conscience. He worked with great dedication to
improve conditions in the camp. For example, he rounded up horse drawn
vehicles to bring food to the camp from rail cars that had been shot
up." (note 17)
"I was swamped," Kramer later explained to incredulous British military interrogators: (note 18)
camp was not really inefficient before you [British and American
forces] crossed the Rhine. There was running water, regular meals of a
kind -- I had to accept what food I was given for the camp and
distribute it the best way I could. But then they suddenly began to
send me trainloads of new prisoners from all over Germany. It was
impossible to cope with them. I appealed for more staff, more food. I
was told that this was impossible. I had to carry on with what I had.
as a last straw the Allies bombed the electric plant that pumped our
water. Loads of food were unable to reach the camp because of the
Allied fighters. Then things really got out of hand. During the last
six weeks I have been helpless. I did not even have sufficient staff to
bury the dead, let alone segregate the sick ... I tried to get
medicines and food for the prisoners and I failed. I was swamped. I may
have been hated, but I was doing my duty.
clear conscience is also suggested by the fact that he made no effort
to save his life by fleeing, but instead calmly awaited the approaching
British forces, naively confident of decent treatment. "When Belsen
Camp was eventually taken over by the Allies," he later stated, "I was
quite satisfied that I had done all I possibly could under the
circumstances to remedy the conditions in the camp." (note 19)
British forces approached Bergen-Belsen, German authorities sought to
turn over the camp to the British so that it would not become a combat
zone. After some negotiation, it was peacefully transferred, with an
agreement that "both British and German troops will make every effort
to avoid battle in the area." (note 20)
A revealing account of
the circumstances under which the British took control appeared in a
1945 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association: (note 21)
negotiations between British and German officers, British troops took
over from the SS and the Wehrmacht the task of guarding the vast
concentration camp at Belsen, a few miles northwest of Celle, which
contains 60,000 prisoners, many of them political. This has been done
because typhus is rampant in the camp and it is vital that no prisoners
be released until the infection is checked. The advancing British
agreed to refrain from bombing or shelling the area of the camp, and
the Germans agreed to leave behind an armed guard which would be
allowed to return to their own lines a week after the British arrival.
story of the negotiations is curious. Two German officers presented
themselves before the British outposts and explained that there were
9,000 sick in the camp and that all sanitation had failed. They
proposed that the British should occupy the camp at once, as the
responsibility was international in the interests of health. In return
for the delay caused by the truce the Germans offered to surrender
intact the bridges over the river Aller. After brief consideration the
British senior officer rejected the German proposals, saying it was
necessary that the British should occupy an area of ten kilometers
round the camp in order to be sure of keeping their troops and lines of
communication away from the disease. The British eventually took over
April 15, 1945, Belsen's commanders turned over the camp to British
troops, who lost no time mistreating the SS camp personnel. The Germans
were beaten with rifle butts, kicked, and stabbed with bayonets. Most
were shot or worked to death. (note 22)
British journalist Alan Moorehead described the treatment of some of the camp personnel shortly after the takeover: (note 23)
we approached the cells of the SS guards, the [British] sergeant's
language become ferocious. "We had had an interrogation this morning,"
the captain said. 'I'm afraid they are not a pretty sight.' ... The
sergeant unbolted the first door and ... strode into the cell, jabbing
a metal spike in front of him. "Get up," he shouted. "Get up. Get up,
you dirty bastards." There were half a dozen men lying or half lying on
the floor. One or two were able to pull themselves erect at once. The
man nearest me, his shirt and face spattered with blood, made two
attempts before he got on to his knees and then gradually on to his
feet. He stood with his arms stretched out in front of him, trembling
"Come on. Get up," the sergeant shouted [in the
next cell]. The man was lying in his blood on the floor, a massive
figure with a heavy head and bedraggled beard ... "Why don't you kill
me?" he whispered. "Why don't you kill me? I can't stand it any more."
The same phrases dribbled out of his lips over and over again. "He's
been saying that all morning, the dirty bastard," the sergeant said.
Kramer, who was vilified in the British and American press as "The
Beast of Belsen" and "The Monster of Belsen," was put on trial and then
executed, along with chief physician Dr. Fritz Klein and other camp
officials. At his trial, Kramer's defense attorney, Major T.C.M.
Winwood, predicted: "When the curtain finally rings down on this stage
Josef Kramer will, in my submission, stand forth not as 'The Beast of
Belsen' but as 'The Scapegoat of Belsen'." (note 24)
"act of revenge," the British liberators expelled the residents of the
nearby town of Bergen, and then permitted camp inmates to loot the
houses and buildings. Much of the town was also set on fire. (note 25)
were some 55,000 to 60,000 prisoners in Bergen-Belsen when the British
took control of the camp. The new administrators proved no more capable
of mastering the chaos than the Germans had been, and some 14,000
Jewish inmates died at Belsen in the months following the British
takeover. (note 26)
Although still occasionally referred to as
an "extermination camp" or "mass murder" center, the truth about
Bergen-Belsen has been quietly acknowledged by scholars. (note 27) In
his 1978 survey of German history, University of Erlangen professor
Helmut Diwald wrote of (note 28)
notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where 50,000 inmates were
supposedly murdered. Actually, about 7,000 inmates died during the
period when the camp existed, from 1943 to 1945. Most of them died in
the final months of the war as a result of disease and malnutrition --
consequences of the bombings that had completely disrupted normal
deliveries of medical supplies and food. The British commander who took
control of the camp after the capitulation testified that crimes on a
large scale had not taken place at Bergen-Belsen.
Martin Broszat, Director of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, wrote in 1976: (note 29)
In Bergen-Belsen, for example, thousands of corpses of Jewish prisoners
were found by British soldiers on the day of liberation, which gave the
impression that this was one of the notorious extermination camps.
Actually, many Jews in Bergen-Belsen as well as in the satellite camps
of Dachau died in the last weeks before the end of the war as a result
of the quickly improvised retransfers and evacuations of Jewish workers
from the still existing ghettos, work camps and concentration camps in
the East (Auschwitz) ...
Dr. Russell Barton,
an English physician who spent a month in Bergen-Belsen after the war
with the British Army, has also explained the reasons for the
catastrophic conditions found there: (note 30)
people attributed the conditions of the inmates to deliberate intention
on the part of the Germans in general and the camp administrators in
particular. Inmates were eager to cite examples of brutality and
neglect, and visiting journalists from different countries interpreted
the situation according to the needs of propaganda at home.
example, one newspaper emphasized the wickedness of the "German
masters" by remarking that some of the 10,000 unburied dead were naked.
In fact, when the dead were taken from a hut and left in the open for
burial, other prisoners would take their clothing from them ...
medical officers told me that it had been increasingly difficult to
transport food to the camp for some months. Anything that moved on the
autobahns was likely to be bombed ...
I was surprised to find
records, going back for two or three years, of large quantities of food
cooked daily for distribution. I became convinced, contrary to popular
opinion, that there had never been a policy of deliberate starvation.
This was confirmed by the large numbers of well-fed inmates. Why then
were so many people suffering from malnutrition?... The major reasons
for the state of Belsen were disease, gross overcrowding by central
authority, lack of law and order within the huts, and inadequate
supplies of food, water and drugs.
In trying to assess the
causes of the conditions found in Belsen one must be alerted to the
tremendous visual display, ripe for purposes of propaganda, that masses
of starved corpses presented.
Gas Chamber Myths
former inmates and a few historians have claimed that Jews were put to
death in gas chambers at Bergen-Belsen. For example, an "authoritative"
work published shortly after the end of the war, A History of World War
II, informed readers: "In Belsen, [Commandant] Kramer kept an orchestra
to play him Viennese music while he watched children torn from their
mothers to be burned alive. Gas chambers disposed of thousands of
persons daily." (note 31)
In Jews, God and History, Jewish
historian Max Dimont wrote of gassings at Bergen-Belsen. (note 32) A
semi-official work published in Poland in 1981 claimed that women and
babies were "put to death in gas chambers" at Belsen. (note 33)
In 1945 the Associated Press news agency reported: (note 34)
Lueneburg, Germany, a Jewish physician, testifying at the trial of 45
men and women for war crimes at the Belsen and Oswiecim [Auschwitz]
concentration camps, said that 80,000 Jews, representing the entire
ghetto of Lodz, Poland, had been gassed or burned to death in one night
at the Belsen camp.
Five decades after the
camp's liberation, British army Captain Robert Daniell recalled seeing
"the gas chambers" there. (note 35)
Years after the war,
Robert Spitz, a Hungarian Jew, remembered taking a shower at Belsen in
February 1945: "... It was delightful. What I didn't know then was that
there were other showers in the same building where gas came out
instead of water." (note 36)
Another former inmate, Moshe
Peer, recalled a miraculous escape from death as an eleven-year-old in
the camp. In a 1993 interview with a Canadian newspaper, the
French-born Peer claimed that he "was sent to the [Belsen] camp gas
chamber at least six times." The newspaper account went on to relate:
"Each time he survived, watching with horror as many of the women and
children gassed with him collapsed and died. To this day, Peer doesn't
know how he was able to survive." In an effort to explain the miracle,
Peer mused: "Maybe children resist better, I don't know." (Although
Peer claimed that "Bergen-Belsen was worse than Auschwitz," he
acknowledged that he and his younger brother and sister, who were
deported to the camp in 1944, all somehow survived internment there.)
Such gas chamber tales are entirely fanciful. As
early as 1960, historian Martin Broszat had publicly repudiated the
Belsen gassing story. These days no reputable scholar supports it.
Exaggerated Death Estimates
the number of people who died in Bergen-Belsen have ranged widely over
the years. Many have been irresponsible exaggerations. Typical is a
1985 York Daily News report, which told readers that "probably 100,000
died at Bergen-Belsen." (note 39) An official German government
publication issued in 1990 declared that "more than 50,000 people had
been murdered" in the Belsen camp under German control, and "an
additional 13,000 died in the first weeks after liberation." (note 40)
to the truth is the Encyclopaedia Judaica, which maintains that 37,000
perished in the camp before the British takeover, and another 14,000
afterwards. (note 41)
Whatever the actual number of dead, Belsen's victims were not "murdered," and the camp was not an "extermination" center.
Black Market Center
1945 until 1950, when it was finally shut down, the British maintained
Belsen as a camp for displaced European Jews. During this period it
achieved new notoriety as a major European black market center. The
"uncrowned king" of Belsen's 10,000 Jews was Yossl (Josef) Rosensaft,
who amassed tremendous profits from the illegal trading. Rosensaft had
been interned in various camps, including Auschwitz, before arriving in
Belsen in early April 1945. (note 42)
General Sir Frederick Morgan, chief of "displaced persons" operations
in postwar Germany for the United Nations relief organization UNRRA
recalled in his memoir that (note 43)
Zionist auspices there had been organized at Belsen a vast illegitimate
trading organization with worldwide ramifications and dealing in a wide
range of goods, principally precious metals and stones. A money market
dealt with a wide range of currencies. Goods were being imported in
cryptically marked containers consigned in UNRRA shipments to Jewish
voluntary agencies ...
kind of memorial center now draws many tourists annually to the camp
site. Not surprisingly, Bergen's 13,000 residents are not very pleased
with their town's infamous reputation. Citizens report being called
"murderers" during visits to foreign countries. (note 44)
striking contrast to the widely-accepted image of Belsen, which is
essentially a product of hateful wartime propaganda, is the suppressed,
albeit grim, historical reality. In truth, the Bergen-Belsen story may
be regarded as the Holocaust story in miniature.
Laqueur, The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth about Hitler's
'Final Solution' (Boston: Little Brown, 1980), p. 1.
Testimony of Commandant Kramer in: Raymond Phillips, ed.,
Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others (The Belsen Trial) (London:
William Hodge, 1949), p. 160; "Bergen-Belsen," Encyclopaedia Judaica
(New York and Jerusalem: Macmillan and Keter, 1971), Vol. 4, p. 610.
According to this source, one group of 136 of these "exchange Jews" was
deported from Belsen during the war to neutral Switzerland, and another
group of 222 was transferred to Palestine.; According to an Israeli
newspaper report, a group of 222 "exchange" Jews reportedly left
Bergen-Belsen on June 29, 1944, and, by way of Istanbul, arrived in
Palestine on July 10. (Israel Nachrichten, quoted in: D.
National-Zeitung, Munich, Sept. 23, 1994, p. 5)
Sylvia Rothchild, ed., Voices from the Holocaust (New York: NAL, 1981), p. 190.
Kramer statement (1945) in: R. Phillips, Trial of Josef Kramer and
Forty-Four Others, pp. 731-737. This is also in: Arthur Butz, The Hoax
of the Twentieth Century (Newport Beach: Institute for Historical
Review, 1993), pp. 272-274.
R. Phillips, Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others,
pp. 19, 32, 33; Roman Hrabar, with Zofia Tokarz and J. E. Wilczur, The
Fate of Polish Children During the Last War (Warsaw: Interpress, 1981),
Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 4, p. 610; Gedenkbuch: Opfer
der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationsozialistischen
Gewaltherrschaft (Koblenz: Bundesarchiv, 1986; 2 vols.), pp. 1761-1762.
Testimony of Dr. Russell Barton, Feb. 7, 1985, in the
first "Holocaust" trial of Ernst Zündel. Official trial transcript, pp.
2916-2917; See also Barton's testimony during the second, 1988 Zündel
trial in: Barbara Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die? (Toronto:
Samisdat, 1992), p. 175, and, Robert Lenski, The Holocaust on Trial:
The Case of Ernst Zündel (Decatur, Ala.: Reporter Press, 1990), p. 159.
Testimony of Commandant Kramer in: R. Phillips, Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, p. 162.
Kramer statement (1945) in: R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and
Forty-Four Others, pp. 731-737. Also in: A. Butz, The Hoax of the
Twentieth Century, p. 274.
Derrick Sington, Belsen Uncovered (London: 1946), pp.
117-118. Quoted in: A. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, pp.
34-35; Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution (London: Sphere Books,
pb., 1971), p. 504 (note).
R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four
Others, pp. 152-153, 166-167, 734, 736; Tom Bower, Blind Eye to Murder
(London: Granada, 1983), p. 224; Dr. Ernst von Briesen, "Was passierte
in Bergen-Belsen wirklich?," D. National-Zeitung (Munich), Jan. 13,
1984, pp. 4, 5, 8.
G.Reitlinger, The Final Solution, p. 497 (and 638, n. 23).
Biss, A Million Jews to Save (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1975), pp. 242,
249-250; Felix Kersten, The Kersten Memoirs, 1940-1945 (New York:
Macmillan, 1957), p. 276.
Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1986), pp. 722, 785-786.
R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 163-166.
report by retired Colonel (Oberst a.D.) Hanns Schmidt to Kurt Mehner
and Lt. Colonel Bechtold, Braunschweig, March 3, 1981. Photocopy in
Signed report by Hanns Schmidt to Kurt Mehner and Lt. Colonel Bechtold, March 3, 1981. Photocopy in author's possession.
by Alan Moorehead, "Belsen," in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden
Horizon (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1953), pp. 109-110.
Josef Kramer statement (1945) in: R. Phillips, ed., Trial
of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, p. 737. Also quoted in: A. Butz,
Hoax, p. 275; Essay by Alan Moorehead, "Belsen," in: Cyril Connolly,
ed., The Golden Horizon, pp. 109-110; Dr. Russell Barton, "Belsen,"
History of the Second World War (Editor: Barrie Pitt, Copyright BPC
publications, 1966), Part 109, 1975, p. 3025.
R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 396-397.
"Typhus Causes a Truce," The Journal of the American Medical Association (Chicago), May 19, 1945, p. 220.
O. Mosley, Report from Germany (1945). Quoted in: Montgomery Belgion,
Victor's Justice (Regnery, 1949), p. 80 (and p. 81); Time magazine,
April 29, 1985, p. 21; See also essay by A. Moorehead, "Belsen," in:
Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon (London: 1953), pp. 105-106.
Essay by A. Moorehead, "Belsen," in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon, pp. 105-106.
R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others), p. 156.
"Bergen-Belsen," Der Spiegel (Hamburg), Nr. 30, 1985, pp. 71, 72.
Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 8, p. 859; M. Gilbert, The Holocaust
(1986), pp. 793-795; See also: R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer
and Forty-Four Others, pp. 20, 46-47; According to a 1992 Associated
Press report, more than 60,000 prisoners were held in Belsen camp when
it was liberated. Then, "in the first five days of liberation, 14,000
prisoners died and another 14,000 perished in the following weeks."
Graham Heathcote, AP from Tostock, England, "2 hours changed me for the
rest of my life," Orlando Sentinel (Florida), Dec. 20, 1992, p. A 29,
and, "Journey into hell," The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington),
Dec. 20, 1992.
Time magazine, April 29, 1985, p. 21, referred to Belsen as a camp created for the "extermination" of "the Jewish people."
Helmut Diwald, Geschichte der Deutschen (Frankfurt: Propyläen, first ed., 1978), pp. 164-165.
Broszat, "Zur Kritik der Publizistik des antisemitischen
Rechtsextremismus," Supplement B 19/76 of May 8, 1976, to the weekly
newspaper Das Parlament (Bonn), p. 6. Revised from issue No. 2, 1976,
of the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (Munich).
Dr. R. Barton, "Belsen," History of the Second World War,
Part 109, 1975, pp. 3025-3029; Barton confirmed this evaluation in
testimony given in the 1985 and 1988 Toronto trials of German-Canadian
publisher Ernst Zündel. On Barton's testimony in the first, 1985 trial,
see: "View of Belsen was propaganda, trial told," The Globe and Mail
(Toronto), Feb. 8, 1985, pp. M1, M5, and, "Disease killed Nazis'
prisoners, MD says," Toronto Star, Feb. 8, 1985, p. A2; On Barton's
testimony in the second, 1988 Zündel trial, see: Barbara Kulaszka, ed.,
Did Six Million Really Die?, pp. 175-180, and, R. Lenski, The Holocaust
on Trial (1990), pp. 157-160; Among his other positions after the war,
Barton was superintendent and consultant psychiatrist at Severalls
Hospital (Essex, England), and director of the Rochester Psychiatric
Center (New York).
Francis Trevelyan Miller, Litt.D., LLD, A History of World War II (Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1945), p. 868.
M. Dimont, Jews, God and History (New York: Signet/NAL, pb., 1962?), p. 383.
R. Hrabar, et al, The Fate of Polish Children During the Last War (Warsaw: 1981), p. 76.
The Associated Press News Annual: 1945, p. 404.
Holland, "The horrors of Belsen," Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne,
Australia), Jan. 22, 1995, p. 93; M. Holland, "Man who uncovered the
horror of Belsen," Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), Feb. 5, 1995, p.
S. Rothchild, ed., Voices From the Holocaust, p. 197.
Seidman, "Surviving the horror," The Gazette (Montreal, Canada), August
5, 1993. Facsimile reprint in: The Journal of Historical Review,
Nov.-Dec. 1993, p. 24.
Die Zeit (Hamburg), August 19, 1960, p. 16. (U.S.
edition: August 26, 1960.) Facsimile and translation in The Journal of
Historical Review, May-June 1993, p. 12.
"Bergen-Belsen," Daily News (New York), April 20, 1985, p. 3.
Recalls Victims of Bergen-Belsen," The Week in Germany (New York:
German Information Center), April 27, 1990, p. 6; A figure of 50,000 is
also given in Time magazine, April 29, 1985, p. 21; According to a
stone memorial at the Belsen camp site, 30,000 Jews were "exterminated"
there; A semi-official Polish account published in 1980 reported 48,000
Belsen "victims." Czeslaw Pilichowski, No Time Limit for These Crimes
(Warsaw: Interpress, 1980), pp. 154-155.
"Bergen-Belsen," Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971), vol. 4,
pp. 610-612; Colonel Schmidt, the German officer who worked to
alleviate conditions in Belsen during the final weeks and also arranged
for the camp's surrender to the British, estimated that "altogether
about 8,000 people" died in the camp. (This figure may, however, only
include victims of the final chaotic weeks under German control.)
Source: Signed report by Oberst a.D. Hanns Schmidt to Kurt Mehner and
Lt. Colonel Bechtold, Braunschweig, March 3, 1981. (Cited above.)
Photocopy in author's possession.
L. Dawidowicz, "Belsen Remembered," Commentary (New York:
American Jewish Comm.), March 1966, pp. 84, 85; D. National-Zeitung
(Munich), March 21, 1986, p. 4; M. Gilbert, The Holocaust, pp. 690,
F. Morgan, Peace and War (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1961), p. 259.
"Bergen-Belsen," Der Spiegel, Nr. 30, 1985, pp. 71, 72.