A little while back, I received some interesting photos from a world-traveling photographer friend of mine, Sabine Ludwig, who decided to stay local for one of her more recent trips. I’m glad she did.
The Bergen Belsen death camp is located in northwestern Germany and between 1943 and 1945, countless numbers of people died there from shooting, hunger, and disease. Bergen Belsen also holds the distinction of being the first camp entered, liberated, and documented by the Western allied forces.
Probably the most famous inmate (although she certainly never anticipated this celebrity) was Anne Frank who hid with her family in a secret annex of rooms in her father’s office building in Amsterdam. The entrance to their living quarters was guarded by a bookcase.
Betrayed by an unidentified informer to the local police, Anne and her family were arrested, split into male/female contingents and sent to separate concentration camps. Anne and her sister Margot were first at Auschwitz and eventually, transferred to Bergen Belsen.
A few weeks before the camp was liberated in 1945, a typhus epidemic swept the camp.
Anne did not survive.
Her father, Otto Frank, did survive and attempted with mixed success, to publish Anne’s diary. It was only in the mid to late 1950s, after a Broadway play and a movie, did the book finally take off.