"from Bergen-Belsen the mountain of corpses"
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBergen-Belsen - Credit: Arne List

Situated in North-Western Germany, Bergen-Belsen is well known for the horrific scenes which greeted British troops upon their arrival there in April 1945.  Although not designated by the Nazis as a death camp, overcrowded conditions became so poor and disease so rife that in less than two years tens of thousands of people died there.  Anne Frank and her sister Margot were among the victims.  Upon its liberation, there were an estimated 60,000 prisoners still alive, though many were seriously ill or at the point of starvation.  There were 13,000 emaciated corpses piled up or strewn around the camp.  A further 14,000 people died after the troops arrived; the departing SS guards had deliberately sabotaged the water supply which made treating the sick even more difficult, and the Luftwaffe bombed one of the hospitals. The high level of infectious disease meant that the bodies of dead inmates had to be covered in lime and buried in mass pits, a task assigned to the few remaining German guards.  The buildings of the camp were burned to the ground.  There are many testimonies from British soldiers describing their shock and revulsion upon reaching the camp, but perhaps the most famous account is that of broadcaster Richard Dimbleby.  In 2007, a new memorial and permanent exhibition were opened at the site.