Bergen - Belsen Timeline 1940 - 1942

Year Month Date Timeline
9 Germany invades Denmark and Norway
10 Germany invades France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands
  The German Wehrmacht establishes a prisoner of war camp in the former Waldlager to accommodate Kriegsgefangene Arbeitskommando 601 (600 captured French and Belgian soldiers). This camp was named Stammlager (Stalag) XI C/311.
15 Auschwitz concentration camp opened to provide 100000 labour force for I.G Farben
28 Vichy French radio announces that laws protecting Jews in France have been dropped.
3 Vichy France passes its own version of the Nuremberg Laws.
7 German troops enter Romania.
9 Dutch decree, bans Jews from public employment.
  Camp developement begins for expected future Soviet POW's.
7 German Jews ordered into forced labour.
6 Germany invades Greece and Yugoslavia.
    Stalag XIC/311 itentified as future location for 20000 Soviet Prisoners Of War and Landesschützenbataillon 711 formed under the command of Major Otto Neue.
May - Jul  

200 Serbian POW's continue with the developement North side of the camp. They build around 30 barrack blocks to act as a POW field hospital with 700 beds.

2 Vichy France publishes anti-Semitic legislation based on German laws. Jews banned from public office.
22 Germany invades Soviet Union.
21 Majdanek camp becomes operational.
21 - 27 Circa 5000 Soviet prisoners captured during Operation Barbarossa arrive. They are housed in the open ground on the South side of the camp and forced to live in trenches, tents and leaf shelters while barracks were being built.
2-5 Circa 3000 Soviet POW's arrive. Within days, all the grass and the bark of trees within the barbed wire fenced area had been eaten, and drinking from puddles led to an epidemic of dysentery. The suffering of the POW's were compounded by the fact that they were under constant surveillance by hundreds of onlookers from among local residents. At the request of the commandant of the camp to close access roads, the local mayor said that "the spectacle does not hurt if people are personally see these animals in human form, think and come to the conclusion that it could happen if these beasts attacked Germany."
  Bau- und Arbeitsbataillon Nr. 111 formed from 1800 Soviet POW's under the command of Reserve Major Ernst von Briesen
  A Gestapo Einsatzkommando carries out a selection and at least 500 Soviet POW's transported to KL Sachsenhausen and murdered.
  Construction begins of 5 sandstone buildings (later known as Blocks 9, 10, 11, 42)
23 Emigration of Jews from Germany forbidden
30 Circa 1000 Soviet POW's arrive.
  80 Soviet POW's die per day
Mid Outbreak of Typhus. Bergen training area, Bergen-Belsen (now Bergen-Hohne) Barracks, Stalag XI C/311 and Landesschützenbataillon 711 quarantined. 25 guards from Landesschützenbataillon 711 die of Tyhpus fever.
End 150 Soviet POW's die per day
7 Nacht und Nebel directive signed.
8 Chelmno camp becomes operational.
  More than 300 Soviet POW's die per day.
Arbeitsbataillon Nr. 111 disbanded with no more than 729 POW's alive.
Total of approx 11000 Soviet POW's die between July 1941 and January 1942. Stalag XI C/311 has the highest death rate out of all the camps in the Reich
  18000 of the Russian POWs dead caused mainly by Hypothermia, Dysentry and Typhus.
Quarantine lifted.
01 2069 prisoners in camp.
17 British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden issues a statement to the House of Commons that the Germans were 'carrying into effect Hitler's oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe'[4]