Seven Horrifying Photos Taken at Bergen-Belsen Camp (except one from Dachau) by the Allies When Liberating the Camp - Photos of Piles of Corpses as found at the Camp, and a photo of an emaciated prisoner as found at the Camp During Liberation (divided back for use as postcard). Issued by the French Resistance Movement at the End of the War. On the Backs of the Photos is Printed the Slogan: "Non! plus jamais de ces atrocités" - "Never Again Such Atrocities!". France, 1945.
On April 15, 1945, Sunday afternoon, a small group of British officers entered Bergen-Belsen. The officers were utterly unprepared for the sights in the camp; the photographs of horror they witnessed caused them great shock. As British medical officer Glyn Hughes wrote: "...the conditions in the camp were indescribable, no description or picture could portray the horror that existed outside, but what we saw inside was even worse. Enormous piles of bodies were scattered the whole width of the camp, too many to count...Some were piled outside and some inside the huts, in heaps on the bunks... By the crematorium was an enormous grave half full of bodies...The women's hut was full of typhus patients, there were no bunks, the patients lay on the floor and were so weak they could hardly move. The lucky ones sat on thin mattresses, others lay on the floor. Some had blankets and some not even that. A few had clothes, but there were some covered in thin sheets..." (The Belsen Trial, p. 31).
The condition of the inmates was so dire that in the days following liberation some 14,000 inmates died. The British, horrified by the camp horrors, flung vast quantities of food at the starving prisoners; those who ate too much food after years of starvation - their stomachs could not digest the food, and many died of overeating. On April 17 a large force of British troops arrived at the camp, facing two tasks: the evacuation of bodies and the evacuation of survivors. For the evacuation of bodies, SS men were conscripted for labor; additionally, district governors of South Saxony and heads of all communities in the area were brought by the British army to witness the horrors.
These photos were distributed in France after the war as part of the first effort to commemorate the horrors of the Holocaust.
Photos: 15x11 cm. Except one 9x14 cm. Overall very good condition.