Scrapbookpages Blog

January 25, 2014

Were former concentration camp prisoners forced to live in the camps after they were liberated?

Filed under: Holocaust — furtherglory @ 1:01 pm

Today, I found a comment on the Reddit website, which you can read at http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/18s90e/so_i_was_in_auschwitz_last_weekend/

The comment is quoted below:

[–]4ecohgie 1115 points 11 months ago

All 4 of my grandparents were sent to Auschwitz (among a number of other camps, through which they were transferred). What is particularly chilling for me is that, after the war, this is where most CC prisoners/refugees had to live for a number of years. I can’t imagine having to continue to reside in the same place that your entire family was murdered for years after liberation.

Adding to this. Not only did people live in the concentration camps after the war (until immigrating), but they also married and had children there. Both sets of grandparents married at the camps in 45 and 46, and my two uncles were born at Bergen-Belsen, if I remember correctly. So strange. Especially because each grandparent entered the camp with a different spouse (and some with young children), and left with a wholly different family.

I don’t know how they didn’t go completely insane.

It would have indeed been horrible if Jewish survivors in the Auschwitz camp had been forced to live there after Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Union on January 27, 1945. Most of the survivors of Auschwitz were marched out of the camp, BEFORE THE CAMP WAS LIBERATED, and taken to camps in Germany, including Bergen-Belsen.

Survivors at Bergen-Belsen were NOT forced to live for 5 years (1945 to 1950) in the barracks of the Bergen-Belsen camp.  This would not have been possible, because the lice-infested barracks were burned to the ground by the British, after the camp was voluntarily turned over to them.

Barracks at Bergen-Belsen were burned to the ground by the British

Barracks at Bergen-Belsen were burned to the ground by the British

According to Wikipedia, the survivors of Bergen-Belsen were moved to the SS training camp that was right next door to the Bergen-Belsen camp.

Over the next days the surviving prisoners [at Bergen-Belsen] were deloused and moved to a nearby German Panzer army camp, which became the Bergen-Belsen DP (displaced persons) camp. Over a period of four weeks, almost 29,000 of the survivors were moved there. Before the handover, the SS had managed to destroy the camp’s administrative files, thereby eradicating most written evidence.[12] The remaining SS personnel were now forced by armed Allied troops to bury the bodies in pits.[12]

A photo of the SS garrison, where the Bergen-Belsen survivors lived for 5 years, after the camp was turned over to the British on April 15, 1945, is shown below.

German Army garrison where Bergen-Belsen survivors lived for 5 years

German Army garrison where Bergen-Belsen survivors lived for 5 years

So why were the Bergen-Belsen survivors forced to live in an Army garrison for 5 years?

The survivors were NOT FORCED to live there.  They stayed at the German Army garrison for 5 years, while they waited to go to Palestine. For years, the British refused to allow the Jews to enter Palestine because they anticipated the trouble that is still going on in the Middle East.

Here is another quote from Wikipedia:

The survivors of the [Bergen-Belsen] concentration camp became the first residents of the future DP camp, which was around 2 kilometres from the main concentration camp area, in a former German Army barracks.[1][2]:60 Initially, the British medical staff used buildings in the former Panzertruppenschule (school for Panzer troops) as an emergency hospital to treat the former inmates away from the disastrous conditions of the concentration camp.[3] On April 21 the first patients were moved to the new location, disinfected and issued with new clothing.[3] This movement of people was completed by May 18 and at that point the former barracks had around 12,000 hospital beds.[3]

There are also claims that Holocaust survivors were forced to live in the former Dachau camp for 17 years. Actually, it was the Germans who were expelled from what is now the Czech Republic, who lived in the former barracks at Dachau for 17 years.

After 4 years of blogging and 1107 blog posts, the winner is “the surgeon of Birkenau”

Filed under: Holocaust, movies — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:37 am

I started my blog on February 5, 2010 with my very first blog post, which was about Tadeusz Borowski, a non-Jewish political prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau, who wrote a book about the camp, in which he famously told about the soccer games played by the prisoners, as the Jews were marching to their deaths in the Krema III gas chamber.

Since then, I have written a total of 1107 blog posts, and the post that has gotten the most hits is the one about the “surgeon of Birkenau” which you can read at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/was-the-surgeon-of-birkenau-really-a-surgeon/

Why is this blog post so popular?  It must be because it is about the movie entitled The Debt, which seems to be based on the story of Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi that everyone loves to hate.

Left to right: Dr. Josef Mengele, Rudold Hoess, and Josef Kramer

Left to right: Dr. Josef Mengele, Rudold Hoess, and Josef Kramer

You can read about Dr. Josef Mengele on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/Selection.html

and on this page of my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/Selection2.html

Dr. Mengele made an unforgetable impression on the prisoners at Auchwitz-Birkenau because he was handsome and charming, and he whistled tunes from German opera, as he waved the Jews to the right or to the left, to live or to die.

There are numerous Holocaust survivors, who are still alive today, because Dr. Mengele was too distracted by his whistling to pay attention to the ages of the children that he was waving to the right to live.