Kingdom of Night: Witnesses to the Holocaust

By Mark Celinscak

© 2021

In April 1945, when the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was surrendered and handed over to the British Army, Canadian forces arrived on scene to provide support, to bear witness, and to document the crimes. They were overwhelmed, understaffed, and left without adequate supplies, equipment, and medicine. Their encounters at the camp were haunting, transformative experiences that forever changed their lives.

In Kingdom of Night, Mark Celinscak reveals the engagement of Canadian troops and other personnel at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The book brings together a series of gripping, often deeply moving accounts that demonstrate the critical relief work carried out by Canadians who have been largely overlooked for more than seventy-five years. It outlines in both stark and moving detail what a cross-section of Canadians both said and did during the liberation efforts at one of the most notorious sites in Hitler’s camp system.

In addition, biographical overviews are presented for each Canadian featured in the book, not only highlighting some of their life-saving and humanitarian work, but also revealing what ultimately became of their lives after the war. Kingdom of Night depicts the gruelling efforts by those who assisted the victims of one of the greatest crimes in history.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 352 pages
  • Illustrations: 50
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

Kingdom of Night tells the stories of Canadians – in their own voices – during the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Kingdom of Night: Witnesses to the Holocaust

By Mark Celinscak

© 2021

In April 1945, when the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was surrendered and handed over to the British Army, Canadian forces arrived on scene to provide support, to bear witness, and to document the crimes. They were overwhelmed, understaffed, and left without adequate supplies, equipment, and medicine. Their encounters at the camp were haunting, transformative experiences that forever changed their lives.

In Kingdom of Night, Mark Celinscak reveals the engagement of Canadian troops and other personnel at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The book brings together a series of gripping, often deeply moving accounts that demonstrate the critical relief work carried out by Canadians who have been largely overlooked for more than seventy-five years. It outlines in both stark and moving detail what a cross-section of Canadians both said and did during the liberation efforts at one of the most notorious sites in Hitler’s camp system.

In addition, biographical overviews are presented for each Canadian featured in the book, not only highlighting some of their life-saving and humanitarian work, but also revealing what ultimately became of their lives after the war. Kingdom of Night depicts the gruelling efforts by those who assisted the victims of one of the greatest crimes in history.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 352 pages
  • Illustrations: 50
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Mark Celinscak is the Louis and Frances Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Executive Director of the Sam and Frances Fried Holocaust and Genocide Academy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
  • Table of contents

    Preface

    Bergen-Belsen: A Timeline

    Canada, the Holocaust, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen

    Reading Testimony

    1. Canadians Arrive at Bergen-Belsen

    Ronald Ford Andy Anderson, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion
    Mervin Mirsky, 1st Canadian Army
    Alan Rose, 4th Armoured Brigade
    Maurice Victor, 1st Headquarters Army Group, Corps of the Royal Canadian Engineers
    Leo Heaps, 1st Airborne Division; Special Air Service

    2. Documenting the Horror Camp

    Ron Laidlaw, Royal Canadian Air Force, Public Relations
    Fred Hopkinson, Royal Canadian Air Force, Public Relations
    Al Calder, Canadian Film and Photo Unit
    Alex Colville, Official War Artist, Canadian Army
    Donald K. Anderson, Official War Artist, Royal Canadian Air Force, 127 Wing
    Aba Bayefsky, Official War Artist, Royal Canadian Air Force, 39 Wing
    Henry S. Abramson, Artist, Royal Canadian Air Force, 39 Wing

    3. Relief Measures

    John Proskie, Royal Canadian Air Force; Military Government, 224 Detachment
    Matthew Nesbitt, Royal Canadian Air Force, 126 Wing
    Saul Stein, Royal Canadian Air Force, 126 Wing
    Lyle M. Creelman, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
    John W. Thompson, Royal Canadian Air Force, 84 Disarmament Group
    Elsie Deeks, St. John Ambulance Brigade
    John F. McCreary, Royal Canadian Air Force Nutrition Group
    James Ernest Thompson, Royal Canadian Air Force, 437 Transport Squadron

    4. Eyewitness Testimony

    Larry D. Mann, Royal Canadian Air Force, 39 Wing
    Leo Velleman, Royal Canadian Air Force, 39 Wing
    Allan Ironside, Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 5 Mobile Field Photographic Section
    King Whyte, 1st Canadian Army, Department of Psychological Warfare
    Carl Reinke, Royal Canadian Air Force, 126 Wing
    Frank Snowsell, Royal Canadian Air Force, 39 Wing
    Gordon Panchuk, Royal Canadian Air Force, 126 Wing

    5. Displaced Persons Camp

    Stanley H. Winfield, Royal Canadian Air Force, 84 Disarmament Group
    Ted Aplin, Royal Canadian Air Force, 84 Disarmament Group
    Bernard Yale, Royal Canadian Air Force, 84 Disarmament Group
    Edgar Jamieson, Royal Canadian Air Force, 84 Disarmament Group

    6. Religious Observation

    Reverend Ross K. Cameron, Royal Canadian Air Force, 39 Wing
    Shalome Michael Gelber, Royal Canadian Air Force; Joint Distribution Committee
    Rabbi Samuel Cass, 1st Canadian Army
    Abraham Brenner, Royal Canadian Signal Corps

    List of Works Consulted

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