Bergen-Belsen

The original huts at Bergen-Belsen were for workers who built a military exercise grounds. The military area has been in use ever since, and is today known as NATO-Truppen­übungs­platz Bergen.

Prisoners were transported to the camp by train and unloaded here. The platform is on the military reserve and access is forbidden to civilians.

A memorial at the prisoner unloading ramp is accessible via a several hundred meter path along a barbed wire fence.

The Nazis incinerated the bodies of the dead, but by the end of the war deaths had exceeded the incinerator’s capacity, and when the British liberated the camp the grounds were littered with thousands of corpses, with people continuing to die at the rate of hundreds a day from starvation and disease. The British bulldozed bodies into mass graves, marked with the approximate number of the dead. At first I photographed each one, but soon stopped. There are too many.

The POW camp was separated from the concentration camp by a 70 meter wide clearing. These are mass graves on the POW camp side, where Soviet deaths numbered in the tens of thousands.

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