Series AD - George Simpson Collection

Reference code

ZA UCT BC1556_AD

Title

George Simpson Collection

Date(s)

  • 1945 (Creation)

Level of description

Series

Extent and medium

The George Simpson Collection consists of two folders.

Archival history

The collection was donated to the Director of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre by George Simpson in 2006, a former member of the South African Army who fought in World War Two.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

The collection comprises of one laminated newspaper clipping and seventeen black and white photographs taken at Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp after liberation by the British on 15 April 1945. When the British army entered the camp they found 60 000 sick and starving prisoners who were left without food and water for days before their arrival. They also discovered about 13 000 unburied bodies in various stages of decomposition scattered across the camp. Even though the British tried to establish some semblance of order in the camp 500 prisoners were still dying per day, mostly from typhus. Over the next few days the survivors were relocated to the Bergen Belsen Displaced Persons (DP) Camp. 29 000 survivors were moved to the DP camp over the next four weeks. Residents of nearby Celle, along with high ranking city officials, were made to witness the devastation. SS guards who had worked in the camp were forced by the Allies to bury the thousands of dead in mass graves. The photographs in this collection portray this mass burial.

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System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

This collection is the property of the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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