Sign at the former entrance to the camp, 29 May 1945. Photo by Sgt. Hewitt. Imperial War Museum, London, Photograph Archive, BU 6955.
A Place of Remembrance
As early as 1945, survivors erected the first memorial stones and monuments in the grounds of the former Bergen-Belsen POW and concentration camp. The Bergen-Belsen Memorial was inaugurated in 1952 after the obelisk and inscription wall were dedicated, and the first Document Building with a permanent exhibition opened in 1966.
For decades, phases of neglect alternated with times of increased attention. Active remembrance was carried out first and foremost by the survivors, who regularly travelled to Bergen-Belsen and organised memorial ceremonies there.
Research and educational work at the Memorial did not start until the late 1980s. New exhibitions opened in 1990 and 2007, and the historical site of the camp was redesigned. Changes to the Memorial have always reflected the changing political and social climate.