Doug Gilling - Liberation of concentration camps

Running time
2 min 1 sec

Department of Veterans' Affairs


The flotilla was ordered to go to Cuxhaven in North West Germany as part of the navy of occupation, and we were in Germany ten days after VE day in actual fact. And that was extraordinary experience in itself, because we had the British army, their area in Germany was the North West area, which is where we went to a place called Cuxhaven.

And the army there had, they were responsible for freeing the concentration camp at Belsen and they showed us some movies that they had taken at that particular time, and you could see that these guys were really, it would be an experience which would be horrific for them, really. It was bad enough just seeing it on movies.

No one had any idea that that was going on, none of us knew that, you know, the concentration camps were in existence. And in a sense, it gave you ... it gave you some sort of closure to the feeling of, sometimes you say, "What the Hell am I doing here, why am I here?" And suddenly, this whole exposure to seeing how human beings could possibly be treated in that way, gave you some sort of closure to that event.


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