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Breendonck: Inside a Nazi concentration camp

The Story


The walls tell the story of Breendonck, an abandoned concentration camp in Belgium. CBC Radio reporter Matthew Halton reads the prisoners' inscribed messages. "On the walls of many of the cells you can read an inspiring story of human greatness and courage," he describes. "You can read the words that have been scratched on the wall by tortured and dying men." In many of his reports, Halton forcefully describes the madness and tragedy of battle. But here, he provides a powerful justification for war as he describes the rituals of torture and the systematic killings.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: Sept. 30, 1944
Reporter: Matthew Halton
Duration: 9:24

Did You know?


• Germany opened the Breendonck camp on Sept. 20, 1940. The camp held over 3,500 people during the war. The Nazis closed the camp on Aug. 30, 1944, and all the remaining prisoners were moved to Holland or Germany.

• Breendonck was first used to imprison people in breach of anti-Jewish laws but as the war progressed, it housed more and more resistors to the war.


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