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Title:BURNING DOWN BELSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP (Part 1) [Allocated Title]
Film Number:A70 337-1
Summary: With the evacuation of all the camp survivors, Belsen concentration camp is incinerated by flamethrowers loaned by 43rd (Wessex) Division in order to eliminate all traces of disease.
Description: (Camera #1). Shots showing flaming oil being aimed at Hut Number 202, a wooden barracks in the main woman's camp in Belsen and the flame throwing vehicle responsible, a Wasp IIC carrier flamethrower manned by a two-man crew from the 4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry's 'S' Company. A jet of burning oil is aimed at the open door at the end of one barrack hut about thirty feet away. A hut which has been part demolished to reveal its interior is the next building seen being torched - the wooden bunk beds once occupied by the camp inmates are the first objects to be set on fire with two bursts of flame. Another hut is set on fire with a stream of burning oil - the door at the far end is seen to have been left open to encourage a through draught. Black smoke billows from the roof and columns of flame and smoke pour out of a row of open windows on one side of the hut and the next one in the same row.
(Camera #2). A long low wooden barrack hut used as a hospital and marked with a Red Cross is hosed with flame and catches fire; an ex-inmate with a white armband on the left sleeve of his jacket runs forward towards a water pipe lying on the ground. The vehicle passes two Royal Artillerymen who are seen picking up a water pipeline and is manoeuvred into position to incinerate Hut No. 202. It sends a stream of burning oil through the open door at the end of the hut and the building quickly catches fire. Billowing clouds of black smoke poor from the building and others nearby in the main women's camp.
The Wasp IIC is seen lined up to torch the part-demolished hut seen from 10:33:56 to 10:34:09. Shots showing a thick, billowing column of black smoke rising into the air as the barrack hut is consumed by fire above a deciduous tree that has avoided the flames; a considerable part of the surrounding area has been thoroughly incinerated. Shots of flame consuming the timbers of one hut whose interior is burning especially fiercely.
Two British soldiers survey the scorched remains of Belsen No. 1 Camp from its westernmost compound; nearby stands a sign which reads "Grave No. 1 Approx. 1,000 22nd April 1945". Over a stretch of the main road running through the camp dominated by No. 6 watch tower, a jeep heads past the camera; in the middle distance a huge pile of shoes is catching fire. Three British soldiers are seen in this part of the camp as it is being burnt down. A captured Magirus-Deutz lorry in British 2nd Army markings heads towards the camera. Views framed by the perimeter wire along one of the compounds south of the road as fire consumes the barrack huts and sends thick, rolling clouds of smoke across the whole of Camp No. 1. Only a row of poles carrying telephone and electricity cables, sections of barbed wire fencing and chimney stacks belonging to the incinerated barrack huts still stand.