The role of London medical students in the relief of Bergen-Belsen in 1945

Professor Stephan Challacombe
PhD, FRCPath, FDSRCS, FMedSci, DSc (h.c.), FKC

In early April 1945, 96 medical students from the London Schools volunteered to help at Belsen concentration camp in the middle of Germany. On arrival, they were assigned one of the 80 wooden huts to look after, each of which housed up to 500 starving, ill and emaciated inmates.
The students set about looking after, and delivering food and water, to all the surviving inmates. The camp death rate dropped from 800/day to fewer than 50/day within two weeks.
The students helped to clean inmates and move them into a hastily constructed hospital of 14,000 beds. After four weeks, the students flew back to Croydon airport, gave back their uniforms, returned to their medical schools, and never met again as a group. This is their story.
Venue: Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, City of London, EC4V 6EJ