Jan Dziewanowski's work card, 1944 - still image from the interview with Jan Dziewanowski (born 1931) from 22.11.2001, AGBB BV 47
Paraguayan passport of the children of the Dutch-Jewish family Lange - Still picture from the interview with Alfred Lange (born 1941) from 19.10.2011, AGBB BV 552

Current research projects

  • Project: Child prisoners

    Project: Child prisoners

    An unusually large number of children were imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on account of its history as an “exchange camp” for Jews who were to be traded for Germans interned abroad and a destination for evacuation transports from other concentration camps with a high proportion of young Sinti, Roma, and Jewish prisoners. Bergen-Belsen held around 120,000 prisoners from all over Europe, at least 3,000 of whom were children under the age of 15, most of them of Jewish descent. For several years, the topic of “child prisoners” has been a focal point of the materials collected by the Bergen-Belsen Memorial. These materials include various documents, photographs, and artefacts. The Memorial also currently has around 120 biographical video interviews with child survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

    A travelling exhibition is now being developed based on the systematic analysis of this unique source of information. The exhibition will take a thematic and biographical approach to exploring the specific living situation and behaviours of the children imprisoned in Bergen-Belsen. This exhibition is due to open at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial in April 2018. It will be displayed at the Memorial for around six months and will include a varied programme of events, including encounters with survivors who were imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as children.

    Teaching materials are being developed to accompany the exhibition which offer a more contextualised and in-depth analysis of the topic.

     
  • Number and burial places of the victims of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

    Number and burial places of the victims of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

    The Bergen-Belsen Memorial is repeatedly confronted with the question of where the people who died in the concentration camp were buried. One reason for this inquiry from visitors is that the total number of victims is estimated to be around 52,000, but the inscriptions on the mass graves mention “only” 23,200. This difference raises questions: When and where were the victims of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp buried between 1943 and 1945 (even after the liberation), and where do their remains lie today?

    With the goal of clarifying this question using historiographical methods, in 2015 the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation commissioned a systematic evaluation of all available sources regarding the number and burial sites of the victims of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

    This research has focused not only on the people who died in Bergen-Belsen, but also on the prisoners who died during the evacuation transports to and from the concentration camp.

    The initial findings from this study are available as Interim report (PDF)