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Christ's College Finchley

Reminiscing History

Following on from their trip to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany with the Holocaust Educational Trust, Year 12 student Felipe provides us with an account of his experience:

“On Tuesday the 4th February, I was privileged enough to be able to visit the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Northern Germany. The trip was part of a remembrance project marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp. The trip included both a pre/post-war seminar, wherein I was exceptionally fortunate to hear the personal testimony of Renee Salt – a Holocaust survivor. Words cannot describe the impact of the heartfelt account she gave, and her story was ever present in my mind throughout the entire visit. The history of Bergen-Belsen is also attached to a number of misconceptions. It was originally established as a Prisoner of War camp, only becoming a Concentration Camp in 1943. Unfortunately, the main causes of death were disease and starvation due to the terrible living conditions. Today, the camp consists of virtually empty land, largely due to the British Liberation Soldiers having to destroy the camp to prevent the spread of the fore-mentioned disease in April 1945. The lack of buildings at the camp evoked a profound sense of bleak helplessness, as I envisioned the atrocities which had taken place just 75 years prior, at my very feet. Yet, in defiance of this terrible scar left on human history, Renee Salt spoke of a dream for “all people to live together as equals”, a dream I hope we can all help to carry into the future.”