Zoo was het in Breendonk Buchenwald by Marcel Polfliet. This is how it was in Breendonk and Buchenwald - an early and horrifying testimony of a prisoner in the Breendonk and Buchenwald camps for a period of about 4 years! Antwerp, 1945 - first edition. Dutch. Accompanied by many harsh photographs from the death camps. rare.
The author Marcel Polfliet listened to the chilling story of Carl Van Della - a former prisoner in the Breendonk and Buchenwald camps. Van Della was in a serious physical condition after the war and couldn't write the story by himself. For this reason, Marcel Polifelt met with him, heard his story and wrote it down in his own words. In the introduction, he writes his intention: "I am not describing horror scenes just for fun! Thousands of people still live in our country who doubt the sensational reports of newspapers and magazines. Many are still under the influence of the Nazi doctrine and all these eyes must be opened...".
Van Della was arrested at his home by the Gestapo in January 1942 on charges of joining a Belgian resistance organization. He was taken to a prison at Begijnenstraat in Nazi-occupied Antwerp, where he stayed for six months of uncertainty, in poor nutritional conditions and with terrible treatment: "We were treated like dogs. Nothing but yelling and cursing for the slightest offense, for no reason...". Six months later he was transferred to Breendonk: "We knew what awaited us there because even though this camp was full of mystery, rumors had already spread about the atrocities committed there". About his stay in Breendonk he writes: "I live in hell... It is impossible to tell what I saw in Breendonk, the cruelty, the horror. Three hundred pages will not be enough... so I am only telling a part from memory...". In the camp he underwent severe torture which he describes here. He worked in forced labor in demolishing and construction of new buildings in the fortress area. He describes the suffering he went through: "I was quickly exhausted and had enormous pain in my waist, after all, we didn't get enough food to do this kind of slave labor, so I had no choice and I tore a piece of blanket and wrapped it around my knee. Woe to those who were caught for such an act. Tearing the blanket was considered "sabotage" ... but I had no choice...". He describes the work in the freezing cold of November, and his rapid weight loss: "I got weaker and weaker, the hard work and the lack of food undermined my condition. I weighed barely fifty kilos, and my legs were swollen... time passed, days, weeks, months. There was no end to our suffering, the hell did not stop... every day there were wounded and dead, we just waited our turn...". Among other things, Van Della tells about Jews he knew in the camp, noting that "the Jews suffered especially" and describes the suffering and torture inflicted by the Nazis to "Mr. Levy" to "Mr. Weiss" who he also knew, and the son of Mrs. Isabella Blum, whom he also knew since before the war, and describes executions of Jews in different ways.
In the spring of 1944, a transport of 700 prisoners left Breendonk for Germany. Several dozen prisoners remained in the camp, himself among them. After a short period he was transferred with several other prisoners to Buchenwald. The first sight he saw in Buchenwald was a pile of prisoners' shoes that were burned a short time later. The shoes belonged to prisoners who were executed before their arrival. Shortly after arriving at the camp, the Allies bombed nearby facilities, and he was employed in forced labor rebuilding them. Following the approach of the Allies, he was transferred together with other prisoners to Dora in the last effort of the Nazis to maintain a working prisoner force. During those months he witnessed horrific mass executions almost every day. One day the train was bombed on which there were several prisoners on their way to work and some of them managed to escape. Van Della also fled to a nearby cabin and managed to hide in it until the Allies arrived and liberated the camp. At the time of liberation, he even managed to hand over to the Allies two Nazi commanders who were responsible for the executions.
The booklet is accompanied by harsh photographs from the death camps - prisoners in difficult physical condition next to the bodies of those who perished as found by the Allies. At the end of the booklet are photographs of liberated prisoners.
48 p. Stains on cover. Good condition.