Simon Bloomberg was the leader of the Bergen-Belsen DP Camp after World War 2. A UNRRA Director, he assisted survivors of the Holocaust including Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews. He was the only Jewish person to fulfill this role for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Life After Belsen is his story, edited by Al Gibson.
Simon drafted the manuscript, in the 1970s with the working title, Tales of the Survivors of Belsen and Other Camps in Europe. However, he never lived to see it published. Now over three decades later, viewers can read his first-hand account of the survivors of Bergen-Belsen and other horror camps in Europe.
UK Launch on the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration
2 November 2017 marked the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration and the official British launch date of Life After Belsen. This was the day 100 years prior that the British Government announced its support for the establishment of a national home for the Jews. It was only the beginning though of a 31-year battle to make this happen.
Sadly, the British backtracked on their commitment leaving millions of displaced Jews in Camps across Germany in the care of relief workers. These were people like Simon who did their best to keep their hopes alive while they waited patiently to enter their Promised Land.
Hope for Holocaust Survivors
In Life After Belsen, Simon provides a candid, though often humorous, eyewitness account of what took place in the DP camps after the War. Read the sample chapter ‘My Own People’ which captures Simon’s first-hand impressions of dealing with Jewish survivors of the Nazi’s despicable ‘Final Solution’. Each real-life account of the displaced persons he writes about is tragic in its own way but somehow Simon seems to bring in an element of hope, often by capturing something light-hearted, rare or exceptional.
With chapters on Bergen-Belsen and the story of the ship known as The Exodus Simon highlights the resilience of the Jewish People. The Exodus was the much-publicised ship carrying some 4,000 Jews bound for Israel but was forcefully turned back from Israel’s shores. How devastating to have come so close and yet still be so far away. This was due to the British quota system that only allowed 400 Jews to enter Palestine at a time. The Jewish DPs were sent back to Germany, back behind barbed wire. It was camps like these that Simon visited and wrote about. It was situations like this that inspired him to write his famous quotation:
“Those who are left wait for the day when they can shake the bloodstained dust of Germany from their feet and start a new life in a free land, far away – please God that it may be soon…”
Lest we forget the Holocaust
Many books have been written about the Holocaust and it may seem superfluous to some that yet another should be published. Perhaps the reason Simon’s story has never been told is to give fresh impetus to the cause of those who oppose genocide in all its forms, some 70 years later. The documentation of the Holocaust is ongoing because we can never allow it to be forgotten. We never want to see such crimes against humanity in our world again. Simon Bloomberg won’t be forgotten by those he helped or their descendants. He assisted many displaced persons to make a new home in a place that offered them life after Belsen. Now that story is yours to read.
The print version, which contains a historic photographic section is now available at www.Amzon.co.uk Mark the Balfour Centenary with your copy of this new Holocaust-related book. Click to order.