Firstly I will state that this post is not an apologist thread for the horrors that happened in the KZ system or the crimes committed by the Nazis during WWII however the Allied bombing caused great disruption to the German logistics system, Bergen-Belsen along with Theresianstadt were considered to be the show camps to a certain extent and Belsen in the main was used as a camp for holding prisoners who were liable for 'ransom' and evacuation to neutral countries like Sweden and Switzerland. What happened was many prisoners were crammed into Belsen as the camps in Poland were evacuated in the face of the Soviet offensives this coupled with the breakdown in the logistics system made a parlous rations system impossible to maintain. The German Wehrmacht were aware of the health disaster that was blossoming at Belsen and I believe a local truce was arranged to prevent the spread of a Typhus epidemic. My late father encountered Belsen concentration camp bafore and after its liberation (he was an AOP Pilot). Some years after, he wrote: " Whatever human sympathy we had with the plight of the ordinary German at that time was entirely changed by the discovery of the state of affairs at Belsen concentration camp between Rethem and Celle. The advance of 15th Scottish Division was suddenly checked a few miles south of the camp (which we did not know existed at that stage). There were rumours of high-level Red Cross negotiations about a risk of typhus and then the advance continued the next day. I was travelling along the Corps route with the ground-party when we came to a crossroads outside a small village. There was obviously something unusual going on, with small groups of people standing beside the road. One or two wore blue and white striped clothing, like pyjamas. As we came up to them we saw that they were desperately thin, their skin a dull grey-green stretched tightly over the forehead, cheekbones and lower jaw, with the neck-muscles standing out. Their heads were shaved and they were scarcely able to shuffle. Others were sitting or lying by the roadside, with a group of German civilians some way off just staring at them or looking the other way as if they did not exist. That was Belsen. We had been held up to allow the Swedish (or Swiss) Government to organise an orderly handover of the camp between the departing German guards and our forward troops (true to the great German maxim of 'alles in ordnung', with no doubt an exchange of receipts for the live and dead stock within the camp). The fear was that typhus might break out and be spread far and wide by the escaping inmates, if the camp was left unguarded. In fact there were few indeed with the strength to struggle beyond the gates when the German guards withdrew. During the next few days we had to fly up or down the Corps axis over the camp. As the camp was cleared the dead were taken out of the huts and their bodies stacked like sacks in long heaps which grew bigger daily and could be seen from the air like big potato-clamps. The smell of putrefaction was so strong that it could be smelt a hundred feet above. " I have an operational aerial photograph that he took of that scene. A letter sent home on the 14th April 1945 was censored but included the comment " I’m rather sick of the Germans – a horrible race of lunatics: there’s no tendency to fraternise with such a misguided lot of throw-backs.*, He had fought the Germans from Caen in July 1944 and I have dozens of his letters written during that period. After Belsen their tone did indeed change dramatically.