Explore the British Army’s liberation of Belsen and the substantial relief effort which followed.
On 15 April 1945, members of the British Army entered the Belsen camp for the first time. Here, they were met with the horrors of the Holocaust. The soldiers encountered 60,000 prisoners, mostly Jews, suffering from disease and starvation. In addition, 13,000 dead lay abandoned.
What followed was a large-scale relief operation. This involved attempts to curb the spread of disease, provide urgent sustenance and medical attention, and organise mass burials of the dead. Afterwards, the Nazi perpetrators were brought to justice, while survivors were faced with rebuilding their lives.
Explore this harrowing story through our learning film, told through photographs, objects and testimonies. Accompanying this resource are two downloadable sources which feature in the film: an Army record giving statistics for deaths, burials and evacuations from Belsen; and an Army report recording evidence at Belsen, including witness testimonies.