Block 10 at Bergen-Belsen KZ/Gedenkstätte


Built from October 1941 as part of the Soviet POW Camp in Stalag XI C/311. In July 1943 Block 10 became the Sonderlager (Special Camp) and later, in Jan 1945, became part of the Haftlingslager II (Prisoners Camp II). In Feb 1945, it was used as an isolation hut for prisoners suffering from Typus Fever (Spotted Fever).

In mid-July 1943 this block was home (along with Block 11) for approx 2300 - 2500 Polish Jews who were in possesion of Latin American documentation of "very dubious quality". These prisoners were not required to work and kept in strict isolation. Many were later transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau to the effect than by July 1944 only 350 of these prisoners remained.

In July 1944 Block 10 became, along with Block 11, the Sonderlager (Special Camp) and Ungarnlager (Hungarian Camp).

In Jan 1945, with the increasing number of prisoners evactuated to Bergen-Belsen from concentration camps near the front line the Häftlingslager I (Prison Camp I), could no longer accommodate all the male prisoners. The Häftlingslager II was established to accomodate them.

Testimony of Doctor Fritz Leo during the Trial of Josef Kramer and Fourty Four Others - Friday 28th September 1945:-

"One day a bigger transport of 2000 people came from the southern part of Germany. Already during the transport, during the voyage, 400 of them died and the others were so weak that they had to be helped at every step. All the others, those 1600 people were put into the smaller part of this Block No. 10. This block should have remained isolated because of danger of typhus here. In these small stone rooms they lay about on the stone floors. People were so weak that they could not go to latrines but simply stayed there and defecated in these stone rooms which very soon were covered with slime and excrements and humidity and it was such a terrific stink that I myself could only stay there for two minutes. Amongst these people there were quite a number who were seriously ill, who had high temperatures, and had open wounds, whose legs or hands were frozen, and who were waiting for operations, to be amputated. The food for these people was even worse than for the others in the camp and hunger became so terrible that no account can be given of that amount of hunger which reigned in that block. It was in this block where cannibalism started. I was called to this block and I was shown a body which had a cut near its liver and the whole liver was taken out. Another five such cases of livers having been taken away from the bodies were told to me. Then in consequence of the general feeling of hunger cannibalism was rampant in the whole Compound No. 2 of the men's compound. They were so desperate that they were crowding round the containers which contained food and were fighting with each other, they were pushing each other quite desperate that they might not get that little food and that they might die of hunger."

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