Bernard Levy

Bernard Levy, a corporal in the British Military Government at the time, returned to Bergen-Belsen with Presenter Natasha Kaplinsky and spoke of the memories he tried so hard to forget.

bernard levy Belsen
“Barbed wire everywhere. Chaos, bodies … they looked like skeletons,” he said of the camp’s victims.

“To me it smelled like DDT, great white clouds of it, because everybody coming out was being deloused, so my greatest memory is standing there, doing what we can.”

The 19 year old officer was immediately involved in the relief operation, spraying people with DDT as they were moved out of the camp.

Bernard, who only began speaking of his experience a few years ago, said one his tasks was to “sort the living from the dead”.

“I think the initial shock was so enormous that I blocked it out,” he explained.

Speaking of his return Bernard said, “I’m glad I’m back because, if you like, it’s the last time I’ll be here.”

“I just feel like I’ve come to say goodbye to all that, and I hope that they all rest in peace.”

Natasha Kaplinsky has her own ties to the Holocaust – she lost Jewish family members who died in the Slonim ghetto and is a member of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission.

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This archive has been established after my own relative, Reg Price, took part in the liberation and subsequent humanitarian effort of Bergen Belsen in April 1945. Reg produced this famous sign at Belsen. As part of the 113th DLI, Reg and his comrades were at Belsen for 5 weeks and left when the last hut was empty and ceremonially burnt down. This archive compiles all available resources to build a lasting tribute to all the men and women who helped - any unit, any nationality. If you have a relative, or any info, on the relief effort at Belsen, we’d love you to please get in touch. Email us: you Nick Price CreativesFacebookTwitter