Ever since I was a young boy growing up, I heard about the stories of my father riding a captured German BMW motorcycle after World War Two in war torn Europe, and serving with the British Military after the War as a policeman near the liberated Concentration Camp known as Bergen Belsen. Just about 2 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the Camp, the British took a former German military base and established a a refugee camp also known as Hohne by the British, and the Bergen Belsen DP Camp by the Jewish residents.
After the War ended in Europe in May, 1945, there were millions of Jewish and non-Jewish refugees who had no place to go. Their possessions were gone, their homes were destroyed, their communities were scattered, and as a result of this indescribable devastation that occurred, especially to Jewish Communities throughout Europe by the wicked Nazi war machine, the United States, Great Britain and France opened up designated displaced persons camps (also known as DP Camps) to temporarily house refugees until they could rebuild their lives and find better accommodations. The DP Camp called Bergen Belsen, was one of the many DP Camps located throughout Europe that housed up to about 12,000 Jews at its peak capacity, and eventually as the population dwindled, it was closed down by the British in 1950.
To go from a Facebook Page Group (heebsonhogs.com) in 2016 to an E-Zine was a long time dream which has finally taken place. This story of my father required quite a bit of interviewing and research, including many months of acquiring out of print publications, research of articles and documents from many credible sources on the internet, phone conversations and emails to survivors and relatives and a visit to the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp Museum, to name a few. That doesn’t include the additional time spent to read and put together a small part of my father’s experiences at the Belsen DP Camp. And all this while still maintaining a full time job. I certainly developed a new appreciation for the efforts of those who put together more in depth works that are published in books.
I am proud that the first story to present in the Heebs on Hogs e-publication is a small slice of my father’s personal and little known story about the Bergen Belsen DP Camp and his experience as a “Jewish Civil Policeman” in charge of the motor pool and patrolling the camp on his BMW R75 motorcycle with sidecar.
I hope you enjoy our e-publication and that you will encourage your friends to look us over too.