craig stennett

Photojournalist
  
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Location: Germany
Nationality: British
Biography: Graduating with a BA (Hons) in Photography from Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham, England in the Late 80′s, Craig went on to win The David Hodge Memorial Award Young Photojournalist of the Year with a story he had covered in Thailand. He... read on
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Bergen-Belsen
craig stennett
Jan 17, 2019
I was on another assignment in this part of Germany so decided to visit this notorious site I'd heard about as a child at school. The very surreal thing about walking around the grounds of the old camp (nothing is left standing of the camp itself and the day i visited had just a handful of other visitors, so at times you were alone with in the grounds) is that its in audible range of a live firing site for the Bundeswehr. So as you progess through the monuments with in the grounds you can here shells and machine gun fire coming from the other side of the forest. Very strange, not in a wholly negative way but still strange.Bergen-Belsen ,or Belsen, was a Nazi concentration camp in what is today Lower Saxony in northern Germany, southwest of the town of Bergen near Celle. Originally established as a prisoner of war camp, in 1943, parts of it became a concentration camp. Initially this was an "exchange camp", where Jewish hostages were held with the intention of exchanging them for German prisoners of war held overseas. The camp was later expanded to accommodate Jews from other concentration camps. After 1945 the name was applied to the displaced persons camp established nearby, but it is most commonly associated with the concentration camp. From 1941 to 1945, almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and a further 50,000 inmates died there. Overcrowding, lack of food and poor sanitary conditions caused outbreaks of typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever and dysentery, leading to the deaths of more than 35,000 people in the first few months of 1945, shortly before and after the liberation.
The camp was liberated on April 15, 1945, by the British 11th Armoured Division. The soldiers discovered approximately 60,000 prisoners inside, most of them half-starved and seriously ill, and another 13,000 corpses, including those of Anne and Margot Frank, lying around the camp unburied. The horrors of the camp, documented on film and in pictures, made the name "Belsen" emblematic of Nazi crimes in general for public opinion in many countries in the immediate post-1945 period. Today, there is a memorial with an exhibition hall at the site. #bergen-belsen #concentrationcamp #fascism #war #holocaust
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