Bolt mechanism from Belsen

Contributed by Rifles Museum

Bolt mechanism from Belsen Concentration Camp - Copyright The Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum

Bergen-Belsen was used by the German army as a prisoner of war camp from 1939 - 1945 however part of the camp was turned into a concentration camp by the SS in 1943. More than 50,000 prisoners, including Jews, Czechs, Poles and Gypsies died there. The Wiltshire Regiment was one of the first to liberate the camp in April 1945, as part of the allied advance into Germany at the end of the Second World War. Many of the prisoners were malnourished and sick from typhus. The army set up a base camp there to assist with relocating the prisoners and clearing and cleaning the camp. This door locking bolt and spring came from the crematorium at the camp. The Rifles Museum has several artefacts related to this, all reminders of the terrible crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime.

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