Caroline Moorehead

‘Practising Science in Hell Itself’

After Daybreak: The Liberation of Belsen, 1945


Jonathan Cape 292pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

When the 11th Armoured Brigade of the British Army entered Bergen-Belsen, on the morning of 15 April 1945, they found mounds of unburied corpses and 60,000 survivors – Hungarians, Poles, Romanians, Czechs, Yugoslavs, French, Belgians and Russians (most though not all of them Jews) – all reduced to little more than skeletons and covered in lice. Many had TB and typhus. There was no sanitation in the camp and no food. The ground was ankle-deep in faeces. Over the next few weeks, 14,000 – a quarter – of those found alive died; the rest were coaxed back to life.

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