Bergen-Belsen survivors mark 60th anniversary

15th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 April 2005, BERGEN-BELSEN - Survivors of the infamous Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp marked the 60th anniversary of their liberation by British troops on Friday.

15 April 2005

BERGEN-BELSEN - Survivors of the infamous Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp marked the 60th anniversary of their liberation by British troops on Friday.

An official memorial ceremony is scheduled for this Sunday with the president of Germany's national council of Jews, Paul Spiegel, and the premier of Lower Saxony state, Christian Wulff, to speak.

Marion Blumenthal, the US author who described in her book 'Four Perfect Pebbles' how she and her family were freed from the horror camp at age 10, told German schoolchildren, "It's incredible that anyone could have survived something like that."

She added, "You have to keep telling people about the horrors of the Holocaust. It's the only way to make sure something like that never happens again." Her father, Walter Blumenthal, the father, succumbed to typhus just after liberation.

Parties of young people from Israel and eastern Europe were in the audience as she spoke at the site in farming country, 100 kilometres south of Hamburg.

Among those who died there was Anne Frank, the Amsterdam schoolgirl whose diary remains a best-seller to this day.

Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated by British troops on 15 April 1945. A total of 100,000 prisoners from 40 countries, among them 50,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 30,000 Jews, had died in the camp.

In a further tragedy, British doctors were powerless to save the worst off. Of the 55,000 men and women who managed to stay alive until help came, some 14,000 never recovered from serious illness.

Most lie buried under great heather-covered mounds at the site, which was converted into a memorial in 1952. None of the appalling dormitories remain: to prevent the spread of disease the British quickly torched the wooden sheds.

DPA

Subject: German news

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