The relief of Belsen

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by BEMA, Nov 24, 2007.

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  1. Watching this prog on More 4 at the moment.
    Having vistied the camp as a pads brat and spent 5 years at Hohne serving, this still brings trears to my eyes.
    How the blokes didnt slot every boxhead in sight I dont know.
    Powerful stuff.
    Old fellas first troop staffy was a bull dozer driver, when the camp was liberated, used to get a bottle of whiskey a day to clear the dead.
  2. I agree wholeheartedly with you mate. How those camp guards were treat after the liberation makes my blood boil. They were only doing their job! As for those cunts who fucked off and left those still left alive is beyond me! There must have been loads of ovens empty.
  3. The bulldozer driver was an R.E Sapper called Frank Chapman. I met him when I was in Catterick and Mr Chapman lived in Hawes, North Yorkshire. Mr Chapman died a few years back in an old peoples home. I do not recall him telling me that he drank a bottle of whiskey everyday, so the information you were given BEMA is incorrect. He was demobbed as a Sapper, no medals for doing his job at Belsen, no pat on the back and certainly no counselling on what he witnessed.
  4. they didnt use ovens at belsen..they put them in pits..
  5. How did they bake bread then?
  6. There was more than one RE bulldozer at Bergen Belsen and many interns died of typhoid, not a joking subject.
  7. Evil existed on all sides. Whilst stationed in Osnatraz, I spoke with a a woman who worked for the British forces and she related her story of being "Liberated " by the Americans. As a girl of 16 she with her parents stood and waved as the yanks drove past her home only for one of the yanks to approach them, shoot her father dead and then rape her. Hardly the actions of a Liberator?
  8. I served at Hohne for over 2 years.

    This programme was just propoganda. Rubbish. Nonsense.

    Watched it for about 1 hour.

    Some bint said that Auschwitz was much worse than Belsen.

    Thing is, quite a few krauts were hung at Hameln for war crimes at Belsen.

    Kramer and Griese were executed for running a extermination camp.

    Now we know that was not the case.
  9. And they're still carrying on that tradition in Iraq!
  10. The relief of Belsen was a strange one. Most of the real toe rags did one at the first oppurtunity. A fair few of the soldiers guarding the camp when the British arrived were not SS/Todt org but normal soldiers, from the barracks down the road. They were realeased to this camp after a breif "engagement". Some SS also stayed and wore white arm bands.

    They had known of the Typhus epidemic in the camp and held the prisoners in. The British on arrival did exactly the same thing. Despite the pleas to be released, the poor prisoners were held in place.

    They sorted the prisoners and moved them to what is now Hohne camp as a makeshift hospital. The bodies were so many that they had to be bulldozed in to pits and limed. There are 6 or 8 (IIRC) huge mounds on the site. Then the camp was rased to the ground by flamethrower.

    The camp was only supposed to hold 10,000 prisoners, I think there were 70,000 by the time it was liberated. with 20,000 bodies already on the floor.

    The Commandant of the time had arrived from Aushwitz, so he may have made the place similar to that camp.

    As for the whiskey and bulldozers. It is highly likely that some sort of incentive was given for this hideous task. He may not have drunk a bottle a day, but he may have been given one. Maybe extra rations of cigarettes. It may not be recorded.
  11. One of my Marines said that his grandfather had been a member of a US armored unit which liberated some camp or other. They lined the tanks up, then lined up the German guards about 300 meters from a treeline, and informed the Germans that they were escaping, and they'd best start running. None of them made the treeline.

    As to treatment of German PW's, I understand that in the first weeks, conditions were pretty brutal, and at Ike's behest no less (he hated the Germans with a passion). On the other hand, I'm of German descent myself, and my family visited with a childhood girlfriend of my Grandmother's when we lived in Germany. My Grossvater (great grandfather) was a veteran of the 1st World War, and when the Bohemian Corporal took charge, Grossvater packed up his family and got out. Caroline's family remained. She was married to a German Kriegsmarine vet, who had served on E-Boats in the Black Sea, and wound up being a guest of the Soviets for several years after the war. He spoke of horrible conditions in the Soviet camps, and then brightened when he spoke of the prisoner transfer: "They sent us to the Americans! Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, chewing gum!!!"
  12. The prisoners had to be held there so that they could be treated correctly. If they left the camps where would they have gone to get food and medical help. Quite a few prisoners died from being over fed by troops that had liberated them. It was a very delicate job to try and bring their health up to a state where they could actually be moved from one place to another and then back to their homes.
  13. Saw the same thing with the liberation of civilian prisoners of the Japanese in the Phillippines. The documentary film of their return to American lines (they had to be snatched in an airborne raid before the Japanese could execute them) shows them lining up to be served fairly weak soup, probably all they could handle after years of starvation.