Death from disease at Bergen-Belsen.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by beardyProf, Mar 30, 2011.

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  1. Briefly yesterday a thread appeared concerning Bergen-Belsen. Before it was pulled at least one poster requested evidence that the majority of the deaths at the camp were from typhus. For that person and any others who might be interested I attach the following link: Bergen-Belsen.
  2. It was a troll with a massive chip on his shoulder, he tried 2 further attempts at opening the same thread. It was discussed briefly on Sunday when he made stupid claims about the liberation of Belsen.

    Troll and threads have long since been deleted.
  3. Along the way at least one poster asked the question so I am simply trying to provide an answer for them.
  4. Unfortunately, some of the unintentional but nevertheless wrong information about Concentration Camps has given some people a tiny bit of ammunition with which to deny the reality.

    Often the misinformation is well-meaning and just building upon what has been passed-on before. I can recall being shown around Belsen in the early 60's by my father (who had served in WWII). He passed-on to me an account of mass gassings at Belsen. I have no doubt that he had no intention of misinforming me, he was stationed in Germany at the time and had a high regard for its people. It's just that all camps were considered pretty much the same and of the same purpose; namely ultimately to kill the inmates in one way or another.

    The difference between being herded from a train straight to execution and being worked to death, starved or allowed to die from disease is not really a distinction worthy of argument; except by those who seek to find inconsistencies and inaccuracies to bolster their denial.

    Perhaps it's better to let the trolls into the daylight where we may more easily recognise them?
  5. My fathers cousin , his father and two brothers were rounded up in Poland and sent to Belsen in 1944. They were members of the Home Army but claimed that they were anti communist guerillas rather than anti German ones. Whilst in Belsen one of the other Polish inmates informed the Germans which organisation they really belonged to and the Germans executed all but Edwin. Edwin was a linguist and the camp authorities kept him alive for his translating skills.

    He survived the war.
  6. Perhaps, Gentlemen, it would wise to differentiate between the Camps that the German regime used, for example, Concentration or Work camps were situated throughout the German occupied Territories, however, the so called Death Camps were NEVER sited on Germanys home soil, for example - SOBIBOR, MAJDANEK, CHELMNO, TREBLINKA, BELZEC, STUTTHOF, AUSCHWITZ/BIRKENAU along with others were all situated in Poland and it was at these Camps that the Pogram was carried out.
    It is accepted and well documented that many poor souls lost their lives in Concentration Camps under terrible circumstances.
    It is also true that there is a Gas Chamber and crematoria at Dachau but neither was used in the Pogrom and the same can be said for all the other Camps in Germany - MAUTHAUSEN, FLOSSENBURG, BUCHENWALD, MITTELBAU-DORA, SACHSENHAUSEN and RAVENSBRUCK to name just the Main Camps.

    As a matter of interest, the Camp seen being Liberated in 'Band of Brothers' is KAUFERING which was a sub-camp of DACHAU, it was situated WSW of Munich, the Prisoners were used predominently in Aircraft Manufacture (ME262)
  7. My point is that it would have been a good idea a long time ago to differentiate between work camps and extermination facilities and to not lump them in all-together but in the minds of many, if not most, it's too late.

    It's largely only of interest to those who wish to undermine the truth and those who wish to counter the deniers.

    It's my assertion that it's impossible to choose between being executed upon arrival or being slowly starved and worked to death. All the victims are dead, all died owing to a monstrous ideology.
  8. The most frustrating response for a troll would be if everyone simply ignored them, post followed by zero replies = no point in posting.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. The same person claimed that the only war crimes at Bergen Belsen were committed by British troops. Here is a link to the transcripts from the The Belsen Trial of Joseph Kramer and 44 Others. Foreword to the Belsen Trial. Trial of Joseph Kramer and 44 Others. Law-Reports of Trials of War Criminals. United Nations War Crimes Commission, 1947. The link says forward - but it links to the trail proceedings

    Many of the claims made by the rogue poster were addressed by the court and found wanting. One of the claims was that the allied air raids had prevented the Germans form looking after the inmates.

    It is true that the inmates needed medical supplies: But the evidence presented to the court by Brigadier H. L. Glyn Hughes, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C. who was taken round the camp on 15 April 1945 by Kramer was that "There were large medical supplies in the stores at Belsen, but issues for the use of the prisoners were inadequateI".

    It is true that the inmates were staving. But, the court took evidence from Major A. L. Berney that on 15 April he went tlooking for food for the inmates at Belsen. At a Wehrmacht camp a mile up the road (Bergan Hohne?) he found plentiful stores and a fully stocked bakery capable of baking 60,000 loaves a day.

    I think this is the Essex University website.
  10. Its not that simple because there were many aspects of Nazi genocide. Is there a material difference between people worked to death or gassed as of no work value?

    Technically Auchwitz was a work camp, to serve the Birkenau synthetic fuel plant. The true Extermination camps were places like Treblinka and Sorbibor alongside the mass execution sites such as Baba Yar hudreds of locations where people were shot out of hand.
  11. The problem would be feeding food stores to people who are malnuorished, the food would be too rich, They tried feeding standard food to the inmates and they kept dying hence they brought in the Bengal famine mix.

    Of course Typhus was prevailiant and this would only be excaberated by the fact of severe overcrowding causing by transporting prisoners from the camps further east to the older central camps such as Bergen Belsen. Plus the condiditons would be perfect for Typhus to develop and spread what with the overcrowding, total lack of sanitation and malnutrition, some say that the camp could be smelt from several miles away. A Typhus epedemic was already happening and was the cause of the truce in the local area so it must be assumed it had sarted recently and when when command passed over to the British iot would have been fully developed.

    Alot of people also seem to forget there was something of a war on , Our supply lines can't have been in great shape even with Antwerp recently opening and recsources seemed extremely limited. Bearning in mind the Germans had a good four years of practice whist the allies had only discovered them within the past few months , experience of running camps on this scale would have been limited.
  12. having been fortunate enough in my military travels to visit most places that were involved in this type of activity, AUSCHWITZ/BIRKENAU, DACHAU,BERGAN BELSEN, TOUL SLENG in Cambodia to name a few, i find it difficult to comprehend why anyone would doubt what happened at these places. You would have to be one shallow bastard not to be affected by the atmosphere at any of these camps
  13. It tends to be (as Cpl_Clot said) because of misinformation. Some people are so desperate to prove how anti nazi they are, they come up with any old crap and expect others to believe it purely because its anti-nazi. I've heard the Bergan Belsen gas chamber stories a few times. There was some balloonhead on ARRSE not so long back trying to paint Hitler as a coward because he tried to avoid conscription (Before WW1). When the younger generation learn that they have been lied to, they tend to question other things as well.
  14. Re point 1 The inmates of the concentration camps did noit start malnourished. If the Germans had bothered to feed them they would not have starved to the point that they needed special rations.

    Re Point 2 these people were very sick and dying of negelect when the British took over.

    There is a falsehood to discinguish between the regimes at Auschwitz and Belsen. The staff on trial were being tried for their behavioor in both camps. Even for those prisoners who escaped selection for execution casual beatings and summary executions were commonplease in both locations. Read the testimony from the witnesses.
  15. A very good account of the conditions in Belsen and the efforts to save those whom had yet to perish at the hands of the evil Nazi regime can be found in:

    Shephard, B. (2005): After Daybreak: The Liberation of Belsen, 1945, London, Jonathon Cape.

    When British troops enetered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Apr 1945, they uncovered scenes of hgorror and deprativty that shocked the world. But they also confronted a terrible challenge - inside the camp were some 60,000 people suffering from typhus, starvation and dysentry, who would die unless they received medical attention. By the end of Jun 1945, some 46,000 had survived, but another 14,000 had been lost. The book reconstructs events at Belsen in spring 1945 from fist horor of its discovery, through the agonising process of trying to save the survivors.

    An excellent read it describes the sucesses and failures of the British efforts. As mentioned above a lot of people did eat themselves to death after liberation when the special famine rations supplied by the British did not help as expected.