On 15 April 1945, British and Canadian forces liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Nazi Germany.
Over 60,000 inmates were clinging to life. Typhus was rife. Within a week relief teams entered the camp provided by the British Red Cross and the Society of Friends. Nearly 100 medical students from London hospitals joined them. A huge British relief effort began
that saved many lives.
Although thousands could not be saved, many recovered and in the years following the war, and Bergen-Belsen became a centre for holocaust survivors to rebuild their lives. Those that were there have struggled to find words which convey the horror. From the survivors, liberators, relief workers and volunteers, Bergen-Belsen is part of the British story. It is our story to remember.
Take part in Foundation Stones at Home and paint a stone to commemorate the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, and the British story. Your stone will become part of the new UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London when it is built.
When visiting a Jewish grave, it is customary to leave a small pebble or stone on the headstone. By placing a stone on a grave, a Jewish person is symbolically helping to bury their loved one – something most families of Holocaust victims were unable to do.
The UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre
A new UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre is going to be built. The Memorial will be dedicated to the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust and to all other victims of Nazi persecution. The Learning Centre will educate visitors on the Holocaust, Britain’s response and subsequent genocides. The painted stones will become part of the new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.
We challenge every Army Cadet to paint stones and share them stones using #FoundationStonesAtHome and #Belsen75.
More information and inspiration can be found on the Big Ideas website.