On 15 April 1945, as the war in Europe drew to an end, British forces liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. With them was Australian official war artist Alan Moore. For three days he drew and photographed the skeletal survivors and their persecutors, including the SS troops who were forced to bury their victims.
Initially a prisoner-of-war camp, this concentration camp housed tens of thousands of prisoners, Jews, Czechs, Poles, homosexuals, gypsies, and others from 1943 to 1945, more than 50,000 of which died. Around 13,000 of these died after liberation, too ill to recover from the horrendous conditions of the camp. Among those who died in Belsen were Margot and Anne Frank.
The Memorial contains 18 works by Moore, who was the only Australian official war artist to directly capture the horrific scenes of the Holocaust. On his return to Australia Moore used his sketches to paint what he had witnessed. These paintings now provide a record of one of the most catastrophic events of the twentieth century.