The Allied armies witnessed scenes of horror as they liberated camps – unburied corpses and prisoners who looked like skeletons. They were surrounded by evidence of mass murder, in particular, the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria. With the release of photos and information, the rest of the world finally became aware of the full extent of the atrocities committed by the Nazis and their collaborators.
A group of prisoners at the Ebensee concentration camp in Austria shortly after liberation by the US Army, May 1945.
Item from the display
Woman of Belsen – by Lieutenant Alan Moore
Pencil on paper, 17 April 1945
Lieutenant Alan Moore was an official Australian War Artist during the Second World War. He was among the armed forces that liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
He photographed and sketched the horrific scenes there. According to his notes, the woman in this sketch died a few hours later.
‘It was a death camp, Belsen. They intended for people not to come out at all…I had been on all fronts … but when I entered Belsen I wanted to get out of the army again, I wanted to finish, it affected me so much.’
Source: JHC, courtesy of Lieutenant Alan Moore