British Soldiers in Front of the Bergen-Belsen DP Camp (1945-46)
The Bergen-Belsen DP camp consisted of former German barracks in the immediate vicinity of the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which the British had razed to the ground. The British initially tried to name the DP camp Belsen-Höhne, but the Jewish survivors who lived there, including those who had survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp itself, insisted on the name Bergen-Belsen. Until the middle of June 1946, the Bergen-Belsen DP camp housed some 9,000 of the 12,000 Jewish DPs in the British occupation zone. It was the only all-Jewish DP camp in the British zone and witnessed both considerable political activity, especially with regard to Jewish emigration to Palestine, and active family life, as reflected in the high rate of marriages and births. While technically liberated, the survivors were still far from free. British authorities restricted free departure from the camp until 1949. This photograph shows British soldiers in front of the camp's locked gate (1945-46). Photographer unknown.