||Construction of the Military Training Area Bergen, as a result of
German rearmament programme. In the adjacent forest a
camp (1) for the construction workers was erected.
|1940 - 1943
||Development of the site to a Prisoner of War Camp
(1+2) for French and Belgian POWs (1 + 2), since 1941 for Soviet POWs (3 - 7). In the winter of 1941/1942, 14,000
||The camp complex (3 to 7) was handed over to
the SS and the so-called "Detention Camp Bergen-Belsen was established.
It became a collection point for thousands of Jews who were to be
exchanged for Germans who were interned in other countries.
||The Prisoner Camp (7) was filled with sick
inmates from other Concentration Camps (for instance Dora-Mittelbau).
Bergen-Belsen was cynically named a Rest Camp. The majority of these
||A Tented Camp (8) was constructed for approx.
8000 Women who came from the Concentration Camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Amongst these were Anne and Margot Frank. During a terrible winter
storm the tents all collapsed.
||As a result of the many evacuation transport from front lying
Concentration Camps, the hospital (1) was
dissolved and the Large Women Camp (1) was
constructed. Start of the inferno: The camp was intolerably overfilled,
as a result only in March more than 18,000 died from cold, hunger and
|15. April 1945
||British troops liberated Belsen. At this time the number of
prisoners in the camp was approx. 60,000. Survivors were taken to the
local military camp which was converted into an emergency Hospital.
Even after the liberation of the camp 13,000 former inmates died. The
barracks was subsequently called the DP Camp, as the Jews had no home
to return to. In 1948 the State of Israel was founded and as result
small contingents of people from the DP-camp were allowed to immigrate
into Israel. The DP camp was finally closed in 1950.
|17. September 1945
||Start of the Bergen-Belsen Trials in Lueneburg. There were 44
people accused, 33 members of the SS and 11 Kapos.
|17. November 1945
||Results were 11 death sentences, 19 prison sentences, 14
acquittals. Most of the about 430 SS guards were never brought to