Back to Article


British army chaplain describes Bergen-Belsen upon liberation

British troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in April 1945. They filmed statements from members of their own forces. In this British military footage, British army chaplain T.J. Stretch recounts his impressions of the camp.


I am the Reverend T.J. Stretch attached as padre to the formation concerning this camp. My home is at Fishguard, my parish was at Holy Trinity Church, Aberystwyth. I've been here eight days, and never in my life have I seen such damnable ghastliness. This morning we buried over five thousand bodies, we don't know wo they are. Behind me, you can see a pit which will contain another five thousand. There are two others like it in preparation. All these deaths have been caused by systematic starvation and typhus and disease, which have been spread because of the treatment meted out to these poor people by their SS guards and their SS chief.


  • Imperial War Museum - Film Archive

This content is available in the following languages

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.