Author: Ben Shephard
“I find it hard even now to get into focus all these horrors, my mind is really quite incapable of taking in everything I saw because it was all so completely foreign to everything I had previously believed or thought possible.” British Major Ben Barnett’s words echoed the sentiments shared by medical students, Allied soldiers, members of the clergy, ambulance drivers, and relief workers who found themselves utterly unprepared to comprehend, much less tend to, the indescribable trauma of those who survived at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The liberation of Bergen-Belsen by the British in April 1945 was a defining point in history: the moment the world finally became inescapably aware of the Holocaust. But what happened after Belsen was liberated is still a matter of dispute. Was it an epic of medical heroism or the culmination of thirteen years of indifference to the fate of Europe’s Jews? This startling investigation by acclaimed documentary filmmaker and historian Ben Shephard draws on an extraordinary range of materials–contemporary diaries, military documents, and survivors’ testimonies–to reconstruct six weeks at Belsen beginning on April 15, 1945, and reveals what actually caused the post-liberation deaths of nearly 14,000 concentration camp inmates who might otherwise have lived. Why did it take almost two weeks to organize a proper medical response? Why were the medical teams sent to Belsen so poorly equipped? Why, when specialists did arrive, did they get so much of the medicine plain wrong? For the first time, Shephard explores the humanitarian and medical issues surrounding the liberation of the camp and provides a detailed, illuminating account that is far more complex than had been previously revealed. This gripping book confronts the terrifying aftermath of war with questions that still haunt us today. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Ben Shephard
Publisher: Random House
'The things I saw completely defy description': when British troops entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, they uncovered scenes of horror and depravity that shocked the world. But they also confronted a terrible challenge - inside the camp were some 60,000 people, suffering from typhus, starvation and dysentery, who would die unless they received immediate medical attention. After Daybreak is the story of the men and women who faced that challenge - the army stretcher-bearers and ambulance drivers, medical students and relief workers who worked to save the inmates of Belsen - with the war still raging and only the most primitive drugs and facilities available. It was, for all of them, an overwhelming experience. Drawing on their diaries and letters, Ben Shephard reconstructs events at Belsen in the spring of 1945 - from the first horror of its discovery, through the agonising process of trying to save the survivors, to the point where Belsen became 'more like a Butlin's Holiday camp than a concentration one'. By the end of June 1945, some 46,000 people had survived at Belsen; but another 14,000 had been lost. Should we therefore see the relief of the camp as an epic of medical heroism - as the British believed? Or was the failure to plan for Belsen and the undoubted mistakes that were made there further evidence of Allied indifference to the fate of Europe's Jews - as some historians now argue? After Daybreak is a powerful and dramatic narrative, full of extraordinary incidents and characters. It is also an important contribution to medical history.
Author: Ben Shephard
Publisher: Random House
When British troops entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, they uncovered scenes of horror and depravity that shocked the world. But they also confronted a terrible challenge - inside the camp were some 60,000 people, suffering from typhus, starvation and dysentery, who would die unless they received immediate medical attention. After Daybreak is the story of the army stretcher-bearers and ambulance drivers, medical students and relief workers who attempted to save the inmates of Belsen - with the war still raging and only the most primitive drugs and facilities available. Drawing on their diaries and letters, Ben Shephard reconstructs events at Belsen in the spring of 1945 - from the first horror of its discovery, through the agonising process of trying to save the survivors. In doing so he addresses the question of whether we should regard the relief of the camp as an epic of medical heroism - as the British believed - or see the failure to plan for Belsen and the undoubted mistakes that were made there as further evidence of Allied indifference to the fate of Europe's Jews - as some historians now argue. The result is a powerful and dramatic narrative, full of extraordinary incidents and characters, and an important contribution to medical history.
Author: Michael John Hargrave
Publisher: World Scientific
Between 1941 and 1945 as many as 70,000 inmates died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northwestern Germany. The exact number will never be known. A large number of these deaths were caused by malnutrition and disease, mainly typhus, shortly before and after liberation. It was at this time, in April of 1945, that Michael Hargrave answered a notice at the Westminster Hospital Medical School for ‘volunteers’. On the day of his departure the 21-year-old learned that he was being sent to Bergen-Belsen, liberated only two weeks before. This firsthand account, a diary written for his mother, details Michael's month-long experience at the camp. He compassionately relates the horrendous living conditions suffered by the prisoners, describing the sickness and disease he encountered and his desperate, often fruitless, struggle to save as many lives as possible. Amidst immeasurable horrors, his descriptions of the banalities of everyday life and diagrams of the camp's layout take on a new poignancy, while anatomic line drawings detail the medical conditions and his efforts to treat them. Original newspaper cuttings and photographs of the camp, many previously unpublished, add a further layer of texture to the endeavors of an inexperienced medical student faced with extreme human suffering. Readership: Medical professionals, medical students, history students, general public. Key Features:A firsthand account of the conditions in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after liberation in April 1945 from the point of view of a medical student volunteerA number of newspaper cuttings covering the period, collected by Michael Hargrave, are included, as well as photographs and line drawings of the camp and its conditionsSales of the book will financially support two charities: Amnesty International and Polio PlusKeywords:BelsenReviews: “This is in part a clinical diary recording illnesses, diagnoses and treatments. It is written with some distance and objectivity, which must have been difficult to achieve in the circumstances. The diary is also a fascinating glimpse into Hargrave himself and to the expectations that wartime placed on young men and women.” Everyone's War: The Journal of the Second World War Experience Centre “Hargrave's account insists that we must continue to read and learn from past conflict and highlights the importance of the IWM's collections.” LSE Review of Books
Bergen Belsen Camp
Author: Javier Gmez Prez
BERGEN BELSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP CASE No. 10: THE BERGEN BELSEN TRIAL TRIAL OF JOSEF KRAMER AND 44 OTHERS BRITISH MILITARY COURT, LUNEBURG, 17th SEPTEMBER-17th NOVEMBER, 1945
Author: David Lowther
Publisher: Sacristy Press
This book relates the story of the soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry who uncovered the monstrous crimes of Bergen-Belsen seventy years ago, and the traumatic effect this had on their lives.
Seventy years have passed since the tortured inmates of Hitler’s concentration and extermination camps were liberated. When the horror of the atrocities came fully to light, it was easy for others to imagine the joyful relief of freed prisoners. Yet for those who had survived the unimaginable, the experience of liberation was a slow, grueling journey back to life. In this unprecedented inquiry into the days, months, and years following the arrival of Allied forces at the Nazi camps, a foremost historian of the Holocaust draws on archival sources and especially on eyewitness testimonies to reveal the complex challenges liberated victims faced and the daunting tasks their liberators undertook to help them reclaim their shattered lives. Historian Dan Stone focuses on the survivors—their feelings of guilt, exhaustion, fear, shame for having survived, and devastating grief for lost family members; their immense medical problems; and their later demands to be released from Displaced Persons camps and resettled in countries of their own choosing. Stone also tracks the efforts of British, American, Canadian, and Russian liberators as they contended with survivors’ immediate needs, then grappled with longer-term issues that shaped the postwar world and ushered in the first chill of the Cold War years ahead.
Author: J. A. London
Publisher: Harper Collins
After Daybreak brings J. A. London's romantic dystopian Darkness Before Dawn series to a thrilling conclusion. Dawn grew up behind a wall, terrified of the vampires outside who controlled the lives of humans and demanded their blood. But when she became a delegate for her city and met Victor, she realized that not all vampires were the same, that maybe one could be trusted. Now Day Walker Sin is infecting his followers with a disease that turns them into mindless killers. Dawn and Victor will have to convince humans and vampires to band together to stop him, because alone they will all die. After Daybreak is perfect for fans of the YA series Morganville Vampires and the Vampire Diaries.
The Long Road Home
Author: Ben Shephard
At the end of World War II, long before an Allied victory was assured and before the scope of the atrocities orchestrated by Hitler would come into focus or even assume the name of the Holocaust, Allied forces had begun to prepare for its aftermath. Taking cues from the end of the First World War, planners had begun the futile task of preparing themselves for a civilian health crisis that, due in large part to advances in medical science, would never come. The problem that emerged was not widespread disease among Europe’s population, as anticipated, but massive displacement among those who had been uprooted from home and country during the war. Displaced Persons, as the refugees would come to be known, were not comprised entirely of Jews. Millions of Latvians, Poles, Ukrainians, and Yugoslavs, in addition to several hundred thousand Germans, were situated in a limbo long overlooked by historians. While many were speedily repatriated, millions of refugees refused to return to countries that were forever changed by the war—a crisis that would take years to resolve and would become the defining legacy of World War II. Indeed many of the postwar questions that haunted the Allied planners still confront us today: How can humanitarian aid be made to work? What levels of immigration can our societies absorb? How can an occupying power restore prosperity to a defeated enemy? Including new documentation in the form of journals, oral histories, and essays by actual DPs unearthed during his research for this illuminating and radical reassessment of history, Ben Shephard brings to light the extraordinary stories and myriad versions of the war experienced by the refugees and the new United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration that would undertake the responsibility of binding the wounds of an entire continent. Groundbreaking and remarkably relevant to conflicts that continue to plague peacekeeping efforts, The Long Road Home tells the epic story of how millions redefined the notion of home amid painstaking recovery. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Sybille Steinbacher
Publisher: Harper Collins
At the terrible heart of the modern age lies Auschwitz. In a total inversion of earlier hopes about the use of science and technology to improve, extend, and protect human life, Auschwitz manipulated the same systems to quite different ends. In Sybille Steinbacher's terse, powerful new book, the reader is led through the process by which something unthinkable to anyone on earth in the 1930s had become a sprawling, industrial reality during the course of the Second World War. How Auschwitz grew and mutated into an entire dreadful city, how both those who managed it and those who were killed by it came to be in Poland in the 1940s, and how it was allowed to happen, is something everyone needs to understand.
Author: Alain Brossat, Sylvie Klingberg
Publisher: Verso Books
Recovering the history of the revolutionary Jewish tradition Jewish radicals manned the barricades on the avenues of Petrograd and the alleys of the Warsaw ghetto; they were in the vanguard of those resisting Franco and the Nazis. They originated in Yiddishland, a vast expanse of Eastern Europe that, before the Holocaust, ran from the Baltic Sea to the western edge of Russia and incorporated hundreds of Jewish communities with a combined population of some 11 million people. Within this territory, revolutionaries arose from the Jewish misery of Eastern and Central Europe; they were raised in the fear of God and taught to respect religious tradition, but were caught up in the great current of revolutionary utopian thinking. Socialists, Communists, Bundists, Zionists, Trotskyists, manual workers and intellectuals, they embodied the multifarious activity and radicalism of a Jewish working class that glimpsed the Messiah in the folds of the red flag. Today, the world from which they came has disappeared, dismantled and destroyed by the Nazi genocide. After this irremediable break, there remain only survivors, and the work of memory for red Yiddishland. This book traces the struggles of these militants, their singular trajectories, their oscillation between great hope and doubt, their lost illusions—a red and Jewish gaze on the history of the twentieth century.
Liberating Belsen Concentration Camp - A Personal Account by (former) Lt-Colonel Leonard Berney R.A. T.D. is the only book to be published that recounts the events that led up to the British Army's uncovering of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945 and its 60,000 prisoners, how the Army dealt with the unprecedented horror that existed in the camp, how the surviving prisoners were rescued, how the inmates were evacuated, how the Royal Army Medical Corps established the world's largest hospital to care for the many thousands of sick and emaciated ex-inmates, how the survivors were rehabilitated and cared for, how they were repatriated to their own countries, why many thousand refused to return 'home' and the eventual establishment of the Belsen Displaced Persons camp, the largest DP camp in Germany. The author of this book was a senior British Army officer who participated in the liberation of the Camp, who was in charge of evacuating the ex-prisoners to the vast Rehabilitation Camp that the Army set up, and who was then appointed as the Commandant of that Camp until its management was handed over to the United Nations, and who gave evidence against the SS guards at the Belsen War Crimes Trial. Leonard Berney is interviewed in 'Night Will Fall', a documentary about the liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps. The DVD of the documentary is the perfect accompaniment to this book, available here: http: //www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Will-Fall-Andr%C3%A9-Singer/dp/B00P6OOEQG Foreword by Nanette Blitz Konig, former classmate of Anne Frank; Foreword by Major-General Nicholas Eeles CBE, General Officer Commanding Scotland and Chairman of the Royal Artillery Historical Trust; and Introduction by Joshua Oppenhemer, Oscar nominated film director whose work include 'The Act of Killing' and 'The Look of Silence', both of which document the genocide that took place during the Indonesian killings of 1965-66,
Society of Terror
Author: Paul Neurath, Nico Stehr, Christian Fleck
During 1938 and 1939, Paul Neurath was a Jewish political prisoner in the concentration camps at Dachau and Buchenwald. He owed his survival to a temporary Nazi policy allowing release of prisoners who were willing to go into exile and the help of friends on the outside who helped him obtain a visa. He fled to Sweden before coming to the United States in 1941. In 1943, he completed The Society of Terror, based on his experiences in Dachau and Buchenwald. He embarked on a long career teaching sociology and statistics at universities in the United States and later in Vienna until his death in September 2001. After liberation, the horrific images of the extermination camps abounded from Dachau, Buchenwald, and other places. Neurath's chillingly factual discussion of his experience as an inmate and his astute observations of the conditions and the social structures in Dachau and Buchenwald captivate the reader, not only because of their authenticity, but also because of the work's proximity to the events and the absence of influence of later interpretations. His account is unique also because of the exceptional links Neurath establishes between personal experience and theoretical reflection, the persistent oscillation between the distanced and sober view of the scientist and that of the prisoner.
In Command of History
Author: David Reynolds
Publisher: Random House
Winston Churchill was one of the giants of the twentieth century. As Britain’s prime minister from 1940 to 1945, he courageously led his nation and the world away from appeasement, into war, and on to triumph over the Axis dictators. His classic six-volume account of those years, The Second World War, has shaped our perceptions of the conflict and secured Churchill’s place as its most important chronicler. Now, for the first time, a book explains how Churchill wrote this masterwork, and in the process enhances and often revises our understanding of one of history’s most complex, vivid, and eloquent leaders. In Command of History sheds new light on Churchill in his multiple, often overlapping roles as warrior, statesman, politician, and historian. Citing excerpts from the drafts and correspondence for Churchill’s magnum opus, David Reynolds opens our eyes to the myriad forces that shaped its final form. We see how Churchill’ s manuscripts were vetted by Whitehall to conceal secrets such as the breaking of the Enigma code by British spymasters at Bletchley Park, and how Churchill himself edited the volumes to avoid offending postwar statesmen such as Tito, Charles de Gaulle, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. We explore his confusions about the true story of the atomic bomb, learn of his second thoughts about Stalin, and watch him repackage himself as a consistent advocate of the D-Day landings. In Command of History is a major work that forces us to reconsider much received wisdom about World War II. It also peels back the covers from an unjustly neglected period of Churchill’s life, his “second wilderness” years, 1945—1951. During this time Churchill, now over seventy, wrote himself into history, politicked himself back into 10 Downing Street, and delivered some of the most vital oratory of his career, including his pivotal “iron curtain” speech. Exhaustively researched and dazzlingly written, this is a revelatory portrait of one of the world’s most profiled figures, a work by a historian in full command of his craft. “A fascinating account that accomplishes the impossible: [Reynolds] actually finds something new and interesting to say about one of the most chronicled characters of all time.” –The New York Times Book Review A New York Times NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR A BEST HISTORY OF THE YEAR SELECTION –The New York Sun NOTE: This edition does not include photographs.
Distance from the Belsen Heap examines the experiences of hundreds of British and Canadian eyewitnesses to atrocity, including war artists, photographers, medical personnel, and chaplains.