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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Bergen-Belsen liberated 70 years ago

British troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany - where around 70,000 people died during the Holocaust - 70 years ago.
The 15-year-old Anne Frank - made famous by her diary - was among the thousands to die there from typhus, just a few months before the camp was liberated.
Graham Satchell has been speaking Gena Turgel, one of the few remaining survivors rescued from the camp.
From BBC News

Bergen-Belsen began as a prison camp for captured prisoners of war. It was not like Auschwitz where numerous gas chambers killed thousands everyday. But Bergen-Belsen was no less cruel or horrifying. Most died at Bergen-Belsen from being shot, hung, starved to death, or killed by disease. This camp did not fit the standard organization of a concentration camp. It had several camps that segregated the prisoners. Camp officials even traded important prisoners, including Jews, in exchange for money from different governments. Bergen-Belsen was unique in many ways, but it was still a camp where thousands suffered and died under the harsh hand of Nazi leadership.

Anne and Margot Frank tombstone
In the winter of 1944-1945, the situation at Bergen-Belsen deteriorates. There is little or no food and the sanitary conditions are dreadful. Many of the prisoners become ill.
 . Margot and Anne Frank come down with typhus. They both die just a few weeks before the camp is liberated.
 .Janny Brilleslijper witnesses their deaths: "First Margot had fallen out of bed onto the stone floor. She couldn't get up anymore. Anne died a day later."


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