You can read about the trial of Josef Kramer in this previous blog post that I wrote: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/before-the-nuremberg-imt-there-was-the-belsen-trial/
I have always thought that it was a well-known fact that the Bergen-Belsen camp was voluntarily turned over to the British, and that Commandant Josef Kramer was arrested by some unknown British officer.
A few days ago, an American woman sent me an e-mail, in which she wrote this:
My Father Raymond Arthur Swanson was sent in when our troops got to this camp [Bergen Belsen] by his commander to arrest this man [Josef Kramer]. At my Fathers funeral all of this came out and was told and recorded by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars] is a well known institution in America. If the VFW says that Kramer was arrested by an American, it must be true.
It is well known that the British were fighting in the area around Bergen-Belsen during World War II. I had always thought that American troops were not fighting in this part of Germany, but what do I know?
I did a google search and found an excellent article, written by Joseph Bellinger on the Inconvenient History website. I know that some people [you know who you are] have made fun of Joseph Bellinger and questioned his research, but in my humble opinion, he is one of the best revisionist writers and the Inconvenient History website is possibly THE BEST revisionist website. In other words, I trust the writing of Joseph Bellinger and the Inconvenient History website.
This quote is from the article written by Joseph Bellinger:
Three Jewish men were among the first British soldiers who entered the liberated [Bergen-Belsen] camp on April 15, 1944.
Among these liberators was Captain Derek Sington, a young man working for British Intelligence at the time these events occurred. Sington appears to have been one of the designated senior officials to first enter Belsen. His written account of the camp’s liberation indicates that he acted with authority and decisiveness when initially confronting the camp commander, Josef Kramer, who was waiting just outside of the main camp to greet and escort the British troops upon arrival.
According to Sington’s account, the Germans had made overtures to his commanding officer seeking to surrender the camp intact. An agreement was reached whereby a small contingent of guards, mainly comprised of Hungarians employed in the service of the Wehrmacht, would remain at the camp site to maintain order, along with a smaller contingent of about fifty SS staff-members and employees, retained for purely administrative purposes. It was implicitly understood that, once the surrender and transfer of the camp were completed, these units were to be allowed to pass on to the German lines without further molestation. Unfortunately for Kramer and his staff, events and emotions were soon to render that agreement null and void.
It is very clear to me, after reading the above quote, that the Bergen-Belsen camp was turned over to the British, and there were no American soldiers there. The Americans were fighting in the area south of Bergen-Belsen.
Bellinger’s article continues with this quote:
Sington was met by Commandant Kramer, who jumped onto the running board of his vehicle and saluted. Dispensing with formalities, Sington asked him how many prisoners were currently being held in the camp. Kramer gave a figure of 40,000, plus an additional 15,000 in Camp number 2, which was further up the road. When asked what types of prisoners were being held in confinement there, Kramer replied, “Habitual criminals, felons, and homosexuals.”
As Sington fought to hold back tears, he strode back to his vehicle and, still accompanied by Kramer, plunged deeper into the foul underbelly of the camp. By this time, the masses of inmates were fully aroused and began surging past the barbed wire enclosures into the main thoroughfare of the camp. At this point, Kramer suddenly leaned toward Sington and remarked, “Now the tumult is beginning.”
The following quote from Bellinger’s article tells how Kramer was treated with contempt by the British. Kramer gets no credit for saving some of the lives of the Bergen-Belsen prisoners.
On the morning of April 18th, after having spent five days and nights in a vile underground cellar enveloped in total darkness, Josef Kramer was taken out of his cell and prepared for transfer out of the camp. The former commandant was manhandled and shackled, both hands and legs. The shackles were much too small for his enormous wrists and cut gaping gashes into his flesh. Kramer was then prodded into a jeep, his shirt ripped from his back, and paraded throughout the camp half-naked, to the accompaniment of jeers, hooting, catcalls, and a resonant howling which sounded to one witness as a “terrifying blend of joy and hate.” Insults and accusations were not the only items thrown at Kramer. Whatever object the inmates could lay their hands on was thrown at Kramer as he crouched as low as he could in the vehicle, trying to avoid any potentially damaging missiles. Two British soldiers were poised directly behind Kramer, constantly prodding him in the spine with their sten guns, which was a cause for great jubilation among the gleeful inmates, and provoked them to howling with “joy and hate.” After he had been duly exposed to the contempt and wrath of the inmates, Kramer was driven out of the compound, amidst a hail of garbage and debris, never to return.
The photo below shows the healthy women and children who greeted the British liberators at the Beren-Belsen gate.