Holocaust Aftermath: Setting Captives Free
The British Army liberated the Bergen-Belsen camp near Celle in northern Germany, on April 15, 1945. Although officially established in April 1943 as a detention camp for persons who were to be exchanged for German nationals in Allied countries, it had evolved by 1944 into a regular concentration camp.
Pictured Above: Jana Weintraub, a Jewish woman from Prague, was transported to Auschwitz with the rest of her family in 1944, where her parents perished in the gas chamber. She was sent to work as a slave laborer at a subcamp of Neuengamme near Hamburg in the fall of 1944, and from there to Bergen-Belsen. After liberation she worked as a secretary and interpreter for the British occupying forces.
Pictured Above: When the Nazis arrested Polish patriot Janusz Ratusiński in May 1944, they imprisoned him at the Gross-Rosen concentration camp. From there he was transported to work as a slave laborer in the underground cave rocket factory at Dora. When his health failed, they sent him to Bergen-Belsen, where he became one of the fortunate few (57 out of 1,000 on the March 1944 transport from Dora) who survived. His identity card, issued March 21, 1946, by the Polish Association of ex prisoners of concentration camps at the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, states on the reverse side, “By order of the Military Government the bearer of this Identity Card must receive in every way privilege and help.”
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