Oral History

Doriane Kurz recalls Bergen-Belsen prisoners hauling wagons of corpses

Doriane's Jewish family fled to Amsterdam in 1940, a year that also saw the German occupation of the Netherlands. Her father perished after deportation to Auschwitz. After their mother was seized, Doriane and her brother hid with gentiles. The three were reunited at Bergen-Belsen, where they were deported via Westerbork. They were liberated during the camp's 1945 evacuation. Doriane's mother died of cancer soon after Doriane helped her recover from typhus. 



There were wagons...open wagons like, like carts, like the back of a horse and cart, open wagons, that were dragged along without horses. There were people pulling them. And they had corpses in them. And the corpses were lying in all directions and heaped on top of each other and there were many people who died every night and they didn't make it out to Appell but they were accounted for by being bodies and so after the grownups were marched out the...there was a squadron of people that pulled this wagon around and came into the barracks and took the corpses, and then they would, two of them would take the corpse, one at the feet and one at the hands and they would toss them up to the top of the heap and that happened every day. I still have trouble with that.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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