While our summer in Germany was an amazing opportunity and experience, one of the things I wanted to experience was the reality of a concentration camp. Because we were traveling with very young children, my husband was cautious about viewing a site like Dachau. However, one of our new German friends told us of a smaller camp located only 25 or so kilometers from Hannover.
Bergen-Belsen was a camp that primarily held Russian prisoners of war. Later in the war it also held Jews that Hitler believed could be ransomed for needed funds. One of the families held there was the Frank family from the Netherlands. Anne and her sister died in the camp.
It was a sobering experience to visit the center along with walk the grounds of the camp. Here’s more from my husband:
Bergen – Belsen was a challenging place. Cara and Abigail made a tour through the archives indoor while I (Eric) took the other three kids for a walk through the grounds. The exceptionally nice weather did not square with the pain and suffering which took place here just over seventy years ago. We paid our respects and remembered those who lived and died.
|One of several mass graves at Bergen Belsen.|
|Symbolic tombstone in the field at Bergen-Belsen.|
|A peaceful place today but haunted by a terrible past. It is a place to remember. Always remember.|
|Upon liberating the camp, the British soldiers posted signs declaring what they found at Bergen-Belsen.|