Atlantic Productions announce Belsen Remembered (working title), a new factual commission for BBC
January 31, 2019
Belsen Remembered (working title) is a one-hour documentary film telling the untold story of the infamous Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where over 50,000 people, mostly Jews, died primarily from starvation and disease in the last phase of World War II.
All that remains of Belsen today is a peaceful, grassy meadow, but it’s legacy lives on through the recollections of those who survived it. Belsen Remembered is their story. Featuring powerful new interviews with some of the last remaining survivors of the Holocaust, dramatic reconstructions and archive of the British liberation, this film creates a lasting memorial to those who died.
As the Allied troops advanced into Germany through the winter of 1944, thousands of Jewish prisoners were evacuated from camps near the Eastern front mostly through brutal forced marches. Bergen-Belsen’s population increased 8-fold to nearly 60,000. But unlike the infamous extermination or death camps such as Auschwitz or Treblinka, Belsen wasn’t designed as a place of killing. It had no gas chambers. Instead, the prisoners were slaughtered by systematic neglect – many starved to death, others succumbed to typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever or dysentery, diseases which ravaged the camp fostered by the lack of clean drinking water and minimal sanitation.
Those who liberated the camp recount the moment they stumbled into the horror of Belsen, the piles of unburied bodies, the epidemics of disease, such the British army felt they had no choice but to burn Bergen Belsen to the ground – inadvertently reducing much of the evidence of the Nazis crimes to ashes. The oral histories of Belsen Remembered (w/t) ensures that story is not forgotten.
Belsen Remembered (w/t) is 1 x 60 min and was commissioned by BBC Two.