Celle Massacre

History of Sorts

I am amazed and equally appalled that so little is known about this awful event which took place only a few days before Hitler’s suicide, and less than a month before the end of WWII in Europe. Maybe that is why it is only a footnote in history.

Prisoners, 2,862 Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Dutch, and French nationals, from the Salzgitter-Drütte and Salzgitter-Bad satellite camps of the Neuengamme concentration camp were loaded onto goods cars on 7 April 1945 and transported north. This transport had joined others the day before, making the total count around 3,420 men and women.

At the goods station in Celle on the night of 8 April 1945, the train carrying 3,420 prisoners was hit by American bombs. Several hundred prisoners died from the resulting explosion of a nearby munitions train and because they were unable to leave the train cars in which they had been locked.

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