National-Socialist Concentration Camps

"Neues Europa"

Legend and Reality

by Jürgen Graf
Published: 2003-08-01

Source: http://codoh.com/library/document/1171/

1. Starting Position

On April 11, 1945, American troops entered Buchenwald concentration camp. Four days later, British troops reached Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. In the weeks that followed, the Anglo-Americans liberated other camps, including Dachau (April 29) and Mauthausen (May 5). To the victorious soldiers, all these concentration camps represented scenes of horror. The Jewish historian Walter Laqueur reports in this regard:[1]

“On April 15, units of a British regiment entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp following a ceasefire negotiated with the local German commander. Colonel Taylor, who commanded the regiment, wrote following an initial investigation of the camp in the laconic language of an official report:

‘As we walked along the main street of the camp, we were greeted with jubilation by prisoners and saw the condition of the inmates for the first time. Many were little more than living…

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