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"This land under our feet contains the bones of over 60,000 dead ..." - Bergen Belsen. Rare publication about the proper treatment of the ashes of those who perished in the camp

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09.14.2022 07:00pm

BERGEN BELSEN Geschichte und Gegenwart - Bergen Belsen, past and present [1960]. German.

A rare and important publication that came out following an international conference held in the Bergen - Belsen camp in 1960 with the participation of the resistance fighters and the camp's survivors. The conference was intended to arouse world public opinion regarding the Establishment of memorial monuments to the ashes burned in the camp, as well as to human skeletons buried in various places around the camp at the end of the war, without dignified burial, and without gravestones, or any mention of the perished ashes scattered near the camp in the last months of the war.

It opens with a summary of the atrocities that took place in the Bergen-Belsen death camp - the number of prisoners who perished in it, the methods of killing and deceiving the Nazis and more. The author states that the names of at least 16,000 victims from the Bergen-Belsen camp who were not brought for an orderly burial are known, and that the area around the camp where human skeletons were buried, is inaccessible because it was held nearby a Soviet military training range and the entire area is forbidden to enter, So that it is not possible to reach the plots of land where the ashes of the perished are buried. And that thousands of bodies are known to have been scattered under the railways since the end of the war - bodies of people shot by SS men at the end of the war in April 1945 and pushed into large pits, post-war pits with which nothing was done with, the English simply leveled the area covered ash. The survivors claim that in Brindonk, for example, ashes were burned in jugs with the names of those who perished in a dignified manner, so that the relatives could at least go up to the same memorials placed in memory of their perished loved ones every year - thing not done in Bergen Belsen. It is also reported that the monuments to the victims of the Holocaust are kept in disgraceful condition, and if this is the attitude towards the memory of the murdered it is no wonder that the younger generation is unaware of the historical truth of the atrocities of the Nazis.

When looking at the facts the sacred purpose of that conference, and publishing its findings in the booklet before us takes on Sub-validation. The Bergen-Belsen camp is particularly notable for the fact that at the end of the war, mass graves were excavated in its vicinity, containing tens of thousands of dead. These mass graves are known to this day thanks to photographs taken by British soldiers in April 1945 after the liberation of the camp. In February 1945 the problem of evacuating the bodies became the most serious problem of the camp, Since the number of dead was much higher than the number of bodies that were burned in the crematorium 3 bodies at a time. In March, piles of bodies were placed in mounds in which the Nazis threw oil-soaked trees, which were burned. When it became clear that liberation was imminent, the Germans made a last-ditch effort to evacuate the bodies. Between April 11 and 14, the prisoners who could still walk, were taken to remove the bodies. The bodies were taken to a remote point in the camp and thrown into a huge mass grave. About 2,000 prisoners were employed in this work from six in the morning until dark. In return they received a quarter liter of soup without bread and extra drink. Towards the end of the war the death marches multiplied and the prisoners were led long distances in marches that lasted many days in snow and cold without food, water, clothing or proper shoes. Many of them died on the way from exhaustion, starvation or were killed in road shootings by the Nazis, and were not properly buried. Some arrived exhausted back in Bergen-Belsen and died nearby. The situation in the camp was so serious that in the days after the liberation, about 14,000 prisoners died. On April 17, a large force of British arrived at the camp, facing two tasks: evacuating the bodies and evacuating the survivors.

The booklet itself was typewritten. The cover specially designed to express the message for which the booklet was printed: at the bottom a photograph of human skeletons - murdered in the camp, In the middle is a sign placed near the camp with the caption: "5000 bodies are buried here" without a proper monument and without demarcation, and in the upper part is a memorial monument.

Extremely rare publication. It does not appear in the National Library nor in the World Cat Library catalogue!

10 leaves. 30 cm. Very good condition.

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96. "This land under our feet contains the bones of over 60,000 dead ..." - Bergen Belsen. Rare publication about the proper treatment of the ashes of those who perished in the camp