American Field Service (AFS),  News

Richard Elberfeld – American Field Service

My father, Richard Bradford Elberfeld, was a member of the American Field Service, attached to a British unit who liberated Bergen Belsen. richard elberfeld Belsen
Richard was born in Pomeroy, Ohio and attended Miami University before volunteering as an ambulance driver with the American Field Service in 1943. He served with the British in India and was transferred to the European theatre of war in 1944. His ambulance unit was part of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945.

Richard spent four weeks taking care of camp survivors alongside the British Army. As part of his responsibilities, he helped clean and delouse survivors, oversaw their recovery, and arranged for the burial of victims. In his testimony after the war, Richard describes the abject horror he witnessed during his time at Bergen-Belsen and his difficulties coping with the trauma. After being released from the American Field Service in June 1945, Richard returned to Miami University and graduated in 1947

richard elberfeld BelsenMany years later, he was honored by Ellie Wiesel for his contribution.
There are memorial plaques there now, at my request, to honor the liberators.
Submitted, with thanks, by Anne Cole

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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