Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp Memorial

Concentration Camp Bergen-Belsen

free entry



The former concentration camp site at Bergen-Belsen might not be as prominent as Dachau, but it is nonetheless one of the biggest memorials in Germany. On top of that, famous Anne Frank was murdered here. I visited Bergen-Belsen Memorial and share my thoughts with you.


Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp – Location & Admission

Bergen-Belsen is located North of Celle. The memorial is located close to a county road. The easiest way is to get there by car, but there is also a bus line, 110, which connects to the town of Bergen and Winsen (Aller). There is also a memorial at the former rail loading bay, which has been used to bring the victims to the former concentration camp. This is is practically only available by car (or bicycle or similar individual transport).

The memorial opens daily, 10:00 to 17:00. Admission is free. The rail loading bay memorial is open to public all day. The loading bay as such is still used as there are military barracks still existing


Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp – Museum

Before I visited the actual concentration camp grounds, I had a look into the museum of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial. I liked the very grey and dark design of the place, which feels to be a good fit for the location. All information is available in German and English. The museum is not only telling you the story and development of the concentration camp as such, but is also introducing you to some of the victims who have been killed in there. You also see pictures of the mass graves, which you later see (in closed condition, of course) when you explore the concentration camp grounds.

The presentation of people of course includes both, victims and responsible people. There are not too many original items in display. The more, the rare items which are available are impressing and touching. The most speaking part of the exhibitions are pictures of the concentration camp life, of starving people and the cruelties. The last part of the museum visit is also dealing with Bergen Belsen after its liberation. Parts of the former barracks have been used to host refugees in the post WWII times, before the last part of that camp has been closed in 1951.


Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp – Outdoor Exhibition / Camp Ground

From the museum, you can head right into the former camp grounds. There are hardly any still existing structures, just a few foundations of buildings. The most catching ones are likely the military structures and the former disinfection facilities. Nowadays, the artificial hills, which host mass graves, are very eye-catching. Some of them hold 5,000 to 10,000 majorly unknown corpses. There are only a few individual graves as well as a couple of memorial stones. One is for the most prominent victim of Bergen-Belsen, Anne Frank, and her sister Margot. You have several memorial sites on the huge area. I did not visit the House der Stille, “House of Quiet”, which is a memorial at the edge of the former concentration camp grounds.



Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp – Train Loading Bay

The former loading bay is located North of the former concentration camp area. In case there are no troop movements due to action in the military training area, you can just park your car and walk along a short hiking part to the Loading Bay Memorial. Apart from a rail car as typically used to transport people to the concentration camp, there are some information displays and a memorial for the murdered children. The place felt very depressive to me.


Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp – My View

Even in contrast to places like Dachau Concentration Camp, but of course even more Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau, it is very hard to understand all the cruelty which happened on the Bergen Belsen grounds. All the structures have been demolished. However, the mass graves are depressing, the museum is doing an excellent job. The sheer size of the area is overwhelming. Overall, this place is a breathtaking.


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