After Daybreak

Author: Ben Shephard
Publisher: Schocken
ISBN: 0307424634
Format: PDF, Kindle
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“I find it hard even now to get into focus all these horrors, my mind is really quite incapable of taking in everything I saw because it was all so completely foreign to everything I had previously believed or thought possible.” British Major Ben Barnett’s words echoed the sentiments shared by medical students, Allied soldiers, members of the clergy, ambulance drivers, and relief workers who found themselves utterly unprepared to comprehend, much less tend to, the indescribable trauma of those who survived at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The liberation of Bergen-Belsen by the British in April 1945 was a defining point in history: the moment the world finally became inescapably aware of the Holocaust. But what happened after Belsen was liberated is still a matter of dispute. Was it an epic of medical heroism or the culmination of thirteen years of indifference to the fate of Europe’s Jews? This startling investigation by acclaimed documentary filmmaker and historian Ben Shephard draws on an extraordinary range of materials–contemporary diaries, military documents, and survivors’ testimonies–to reconstruct six weeks at Belsen beginning on April 15, 1945, and reveals what actually caused the post-liberation deaths of nearly 14,000 concentration camp inmates who might otherwise have lived. Why did it take almost two weeks to organize a proper medical response? Why were the medical teams sent to Belsen so poorly equipped? Why, when specialists did arrive, did they get so much of the medicine plain wrong? For the first time, Shephard explores the humanitarian and medical issues surrounding the liberation of the camp and provides a detailed, illuminating account that is far more complex than had been previously revealed. This gripping book confronts the terrifying aftermath of war with questions that still haunt us today. From the Hardcover edition.

After Daybreak

Author: Ben Shephard
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1409079643
Format: PDF, Docs
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'The things I saw completely defy description': when British troops entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, they uncovered scenes of horror and depravity that shocked the world. But they also confronted a terrible challenge - inside the camp were some 60,000 people, suffering from typhus, starvation and dysentery, who would die unless they received immediate medical attention. After Daybreak is the story of the men and women who faced that challenge - the army stretcher-bearers and ambulance drivers, medical students and relief workers who worked to save the inmates of Belsen - with the war still raging and only the most primitive drugs and facilities available. It was, for all of them, an overwhelming experience. Drawing on their diaries and letters, Ben Shephard reconstructs events at Belsen in the spring of 1945 - from the first horror of its discovery, through the agonising process of trying to save the survivors, to the point where Belsen became 'more like a Butlin's Holiday camp than a concentration one'. By the end of June 1945, some 46,000 people had survived at Belsen; but another 14,000 had been lost. Should we therefore see the relief of the camp as an epic of medical heroism - as the British believed? Or was the failure to plan for Belsen and the undoubted mistakes that were made there further evidence of Allied indifference to the fate of Europe's Jews - as some historians now argue? After Daybreak is a powerful and dramatic narrative, full of extraordinary incidents and characters. It is also an important contribution to medical history.

After Daybreak

Author: Ben Shephard
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1844135403
Format: PDF, ePub
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When British troops entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, they uncovered scenes of horror and depravity that shocked the world. But they also confronted a terrible challenge - inside the camp were some 60,000 people, suffering from typhus, starvation and dysentery, who would die unless they received immediate medical attention. After Daybreak is the story of the army stretcher-bearers and ambulance drivers, medical students and relief workers who attempted to save the inmates of Belsen - with the war still raging and only the most primitive drugs and facilities available. Drawing on their diaries and letters, Ben Shephard reconstructs events at Belsen in the spring of 1945 - from the first horror of its discovery, through the agonising process of trying to save the survivors. In doing so he addresses the question of whether we should regard the relief of the camp as an epic of medical heroism - as the British believed - or see the failure to plan for Belsen and the undoubted mistakes that were made there as further evidence of Allied indifference to the fate of Europe's Jews - as some historians now argue. The result is a powerful and dramatic narrative, full of extraordinary incidents and characters, and an important contribution to medical history.

Bergen Belsen 1945

Author: Michael John Hargrave
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 1783263229
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Between 1941 and 1945 as many as 70,000 inmates died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northwestern Germany. The exact number will never be known. A large number of these deaths were caused by malnutrition and disease, mainly typhus, shortly before and after liberation. It was at this time, in April of 1945, that Michael Hargrave answered a notice at the Westminster Hospital Medical School for ‘volunteers’. On the day of his departure the 21-year-old learned that he was being sent to Bergen-Belsen, liberated only two weeks before. This firsthand account, a diary written for his mother, details Michael's month-long experience at the camp. He compassionately relates the horrendous living conditions suffered by the prisoners, describing the sickness and disease he encountered and his desperate, often fruitless, struggle to save as many lives as possible. Amidst immeasurable horrors, his descriptions of the banalities of everyday life and diagrams of the camp's layout take on a new poignancy, while anatomic line drawings detail the medical conditions and his efforts to treat them. Original newspaper cuttings and photographs of the camp, many previously unpublished, add a further layer of texture to the endeavors of an inexperienced medical student faced with extreme human suffering. Readership: Medical professionals, medical students, history students, general public. Key Features:A firsthand account of the conditions in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after liberation in April 1945 from the point of view of a medical student volunteerA number of newspaper cuttings covering the period, collected by Michael Hargrave, are included, as well as photographs and line drawings of the camp and its conditionsSales of the book will financially support two charities: Amnesty International and Polio PlusKeywords:BelsenReviews: “This is in part a clinical diary recording illnesses, diagnoses and treatments. It is written with some distance and objectivity, which must have been difficult to achieve in the circumstances. The diary is also a fascinating glimpse into Hargrave himself and to the expectations that wartime placed on young men and women.” Everyone's War: The Journal of the Second World War Experience Centre “Hargrave's account insists that we must continue to read and learn from past conflict and highlights the importance of the IWM's collections.” LSE Review of Books

The Blitzkrieg Legend

Author: Karl-Heinz Frieser
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
ISBN: 1612513581
Format: PDF
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Here, for the first time in English, is an illuminating new German perspective on the decisive Blitzkrieg campaign of 1940. Karl-Heinz Frieser's account provides the definitive explanation for Germany's startling success and the equally surprising and rapid military collapse of France and Britain on the European continent. In a little over a month, Germany decisively defeated the Allies in battle, a task that had not been achieved in four years of brutal fighting during World War I. First published in 1995 as the official German history of the 1940 campaign in the west, the book goes beyond standard explanations to show that German victory was not inevitable and French defeat was not preordained. Contrary to the usual accounts of the campaign, Frieser illustrates that the military systems of both Germany and France were solid and that their campaign planning was sound. The key to victory or defeat, he argues, was the execution of operational plans—both preplanned and ad hoc—amid the eternal Clausewitzian combat factors of friction and the fog of war. Frieser shows why on the eve of the campaign the British and French leaders had good cause to be confident and why many German generals were understandably concerned that disaster was looming for them. This study explodes many of the myths concerning German Blitzkrieg warfare and the planning for the 1940 campaign. A groundbreaking new interpretation of a topic that has long interested students of military history, it is being published in cooperation with the Association of the U.S. Army

The Long Road Home

Author: Ben Shephard
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 030759548X
Format: PDF, ePub
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At the end of World War II, long before an Allied victory was assured and before the scope of the atrocities orchestrated by Hitler would come into focus or even assume the name of the Holocaust, Allied forces had begun to prepare for its aftermath. Taking cues from the end of the First World War, planners had begun the futile task of preparing themselves for a civilian health crisis that, due in large part to advances in medical science, would never come. The problem that emerged was not widespread disease among Europe’s population, as anticipated, but massive displacement among those who had been uprooted from home and country during the war. Displaced Persons, as the refugees would come to be known, were not comprised entirely of Jews. Millions of Latvians, Poles, Ukrainians, and Yugoslavs, in addition to several hundred thousand Germans, were situated in a limbo long overlooked by historians. While many were speedily repatriated, millions of refugees refused to return to countries that were forever changed by the war—a crisis that would take years to resolve and would become the defining legacy of World War II. Indeed many of the postwar questions that haunted the Allied planners still confront us today: How can humanitarian aid be made to work? What levels of immigration can our societies absorb? How can an occupying power restore prosperity to a defeated enemy? Including new documentation in the form of journals, oral histories, and essays by actual DPs unearthed during his research for this illuminating and radical reassessment of history, Ben Shephard brings to light the extraordinary stories and myriad versions of the war experienced by the refugees and the new United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration that would undertake the responsibility of binding the wounds of an entire continent. Groundbreaking and remarkably relevant to conflicts that continue to plague peacekeeping efforts, The Long Road Home tells the epic story of how millions redefined the notion of home amid painstaking recovery. From the Hardcover edition.

Liberating Belsen

Author: David Lowther
Publisher: Sacristy Press
ISBN: 1908381930
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book relates the story of the soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry who uncovered the monstrous crimes of Bergen-Belsen seventy years ago, and the traumatic effect this had on their lives.

The Liberation of the Camps

Author: Dan Stone
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300216033
Format: PDF, Docs
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Seventy years have passed since the tortured inmates of Hitler’s concentration and extermination camps were liberated. When the horror of the atrocities came fully to light, it was easy for others to imagine the joyful relief of freed prisoners. Yet for those who had survived the unimaginable, the experience of liberation was a slow, grueling journey back to life. In this unprecedented inquiry into the days, months, and years following the arrival of Allied forces at the Nazi camps, a foremost historian of the Holocaust draws on archival sources and especially on eyewitness testimonies to reveal the complex challenges liberated victims faced and the daunting tasks their liberators undertook to help them reclaim their shattered lives. Historian Dan Stone focuses on the survivors—their feelings of guilt, exhaustion, fear, shame for having survived, and devastating grief for lost family members; their immense medical problems; and their later demands to be released from Displaced Persons camps and resettled in countries of their own choosing. Stone also tracks the efforts of British, American, Canadian, and Russian liberators as they contended with survivors’ immediate needs, then grappled with longer-term issues that shaped the postwar world and ushered in the first chill of the Cold War years ahead.

The Reawakening

Author: Primo Levi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0684826356
Format: PDF, Docs
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First published in English in 1965, "The Reawakening" is Primo Levi's bestselling sequel to his classic memoir of the Holocaust, "Survival in Auschwitz." The inspiring story of Levi's liberation from the German death camp in January 1945 by the Red Army, it tells of his strange and eventful journey home to Italy by way of the Soviet Union, Hungary, and Romania. Levi's railway travels take him through bombed-out cities and transit camps, with keen insight he describes the former prisoners and Russian soldiers he encounters along the way. An extraordinary account of faith, hope, and undying courage, "The Reawakening" was praised by Irving Howe as "a remarkable feat of literary craft."

Auschwitz

Author: Sybille Steinbacher
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062296191
Format: PDF, ePub
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At the terrible heart of the modern age lies Auschwitz. In a total inversion of earlier hopes about the use of science and technology to improve, extend, and protect human life, Auschwitz manipulated the same systems to quite different ends. In Sybille Steinbacher's terse, powerful new book, the reader is led through the process by which something unthinkable to anyone on earth in the 1930s had become a sprawling, industrial reality during the course of the Second World War. How Auschwitz grew and mutated into an entire dreadful city, how both those who managed it and those who were killed by it came to be in Poland in the 1940s, and how it was allowed to happen, is something everyone needs to understand.