Bergen-Belsen tracing Ella's footsteps

"Here, in Bergen-Belsen, there was no need for gas chambers nor crematoriums, because people were falling like flies. They were dying of starvation and infectious diseases like typhus, TB and scabies. The corpses were piling up outside each blokhouse, and even inside."

Ella Blumenthal

A map of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944. For more information and additional maps detailing key facts related to Bergen-Belsen, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum media essay.


Images of starving, diseased, dying and dead prisoners can only begin to illustrate the horror of Bergen-Belsen.


The History of Bergen-Belsen

German military authorities established the Bergen-Belsen camp in 1940 as a prisoner-of-war camp. Beginning in 1943, it evolved into a residence camp and finally into a concentration camp.


Richard Dimbleby Describes Belsen

Richard Dimbleby was the first broadcaster to enter the camp and, overcome, broke down several times while making his report. The BBC initially refused to play the report, as they could not believe the scenes he had described, and it was only broadcast after Dimbleby threatened to resign.


Surviving Bergen-Belsen Nazi Camp

Dutch Holocaust survivor Hetty Verolme returns to the Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen where, as a 15 year old girl, she spoke to the BBC's Patrick Gordon Walker in April 1945.

Now 88 years old, Hetty tells Witness of the horrors of life in the camp and listens again to the interview she gave to the BBC just days after gaining her freedom.


Burning of Belsen

Historic footage of the British liberation of Bergen-Belsen documents the atrocities found at the camp as well as the efforts to care for the dead and obliterate the filth and pestilence.