Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp


ergen-Belsen began as a prison camp for captured prisoners of war. It was not like Auschwitz where numerous gas chambers killed thousands everyday. But Bergen-Belsen was no less cruel or horrifying. Most died at Bergen-Belsen from being shot, hung, starved to death, or killed by disease. Bergen-Belsen's most famous prisoner was Anne Frank who was transferred there from Auschwitz in October 1944; she died of typhus a few weeks before the British Army liberated the camp. This camp did not fit the standard organization of a concentration camp. It had several camps that segregated the prisoners. Camp officials even traded important prisoners, including Jews, in exchange for money from different governments. Bergen-Belsen was unique in many ways, but it was still a camp where thousands suffered and died under the harsh hand of Nazi leadership.

Camp Commandants: SS Captain Adolf Haas
Apr 1943 - 2 Dec 1944
Camp Commandants: SS Captain Josef Kramer
2 Dec 1944 - 15 Apr 1945
Other: B-B established as a prisoner of war (POW) camp
Other: SS establish the “star camp”
15 Sep 1943
Other: First Jews from Greece arrives in “neutrals camp"
13 Aug 1943
Other: SS establish a “residence camp” & “prisoners' camp
Apr 1943
Other: First Jews from the Netherlands arrives
15 Sep 1943
Other: SS Captain Adolf Haas becomes 1st camp commandant
Apr 1943
Other: 1st Jewish prisoners arrives in “special camp”
7 Jul 1943
Other: Bergen-Belsen is designated a concentration camp
Dec 1944
Other: Around 15,000 prisoners are interned at the camp
1 Dec 1944
Other: SS trade approx. 300 Hungarian Jews for money
18 Aug 1944
Other: Hungarian Camp established for 1st Hungarian Jews
9 Jul 1944
Other: The “tent camp” is created for more sick prisoners
Aug 1944
Other: 1,800 prisoners are deported to Auschwitz
21 Oct 1943
Other: 7,300 prisoners are interned in the camp
31 Jul 1944
Other: Release 222 Jewish prisoners for captured Germans
29 Jun 1944
Other: Around 1,300 more Hungarian Jews are released
4 Dec 1944
Other: The “small women's camp” is established
Nov 1944
Other: 365 Jewish prisoners are released & sent to Spain
3 Feb 1944
Other: “Prisoners' camp” becomes place for sick & injured
Mar 1944
Other: SS Captain Josef Kramer becomes camp commandant
2 Dec 1944
Other: Victims
Approx. 50,000 prisoners died
Location: City
Other: POW camp is dissolved, large women's camp created
Jan 1945
Other: Camp now interned 22,000 prisoners
Feb 1945
Other: 136 Jewish prisoners w/ S American papers released
21 Jan 1945
Other: Kramer and other camp officials are executed
12 Dec 1945
Other: British forces liberate Bergen-Belsen
15 Apr 1945
Other: SS evacuate prisoners and head to Theresienstadt
6 Apr 1945

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Created: 30 Jul 2009

Modified: 29 Jan 2020

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Source information: Fold3, Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp ( : accessed 28 Nov 2021), database and images,

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