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Witness to Evil
Cover of Witness to Evil
Witness to Evil
Bergen--Belsen 1945
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In April 1945 Rev. Isaac Levy, Senior Jewish Chaplain to the British Liberation Army, accompanied the Forces into Germany. Only days after Passover celebrations, he entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The prisoners, seeing the Star of David in the cap of this army officer, were exultant. In spite of the enormity of their suffering, they had survived.

But further into the camp, within a wire-enclosed area, Isaac Levy found the hell that was Belsen, the barely-living with the dead. Overcome with a sense of utter helplessness, he participated in the deeply disturbing task of burying some 20,000 dead.

Medical supplies, food and clean clothing were grossly inadequate. Urgent requests for aid and assistance from organisations in London were sometimes met with great compassion but all too often were inadequate. Isaac Levy was frequently in trouble with the military authorities — they showed a profound lack of understanding of the fact that the Jews could not return to their native lands where they had been persecuted and seen their families sent off to the gas chambers. Now would the authorities countenance a Jewish homeland in Israel.

In April 1945 Rev. Isaac Levy, Senior Jewish Chaplain to the British Liberation Army, accompanied the Forces into Germany. Only days after Passover celebrations, he entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The prisoners, seeing the Star of David in the cap of this army officer, were exultant. In spite of the enormity of their suffering, they had survived.

But further into the camp, within a wire-enclosed area, Isaac Levy found the hell that was Belsen, the barely-living with the dead. Overcome with a sense of utter helplessness, he participated in the deeply disturbing task of burying some 20,000 dead.

Medical supplies, food and clean clothing were grossly inadequate. Urgent requests for aid and assistance from organisations in London were sometimes met with great compassion but all too often were inadequate. Isaac Levy was frequently in trouble with the military authorities — they showed a profound lack of understanding of the fact that the Jews could not return to their native lands where they had been persecuted and seen their families sent off to the gas chambers. Now would the authorities countenance a Jewish homeland in Israel.

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  • Rev. Dr. Isaac Levy, O.B.E., T.D., was born in London and educated at Jews' College and the University of London. In 1939, he became the first Jewish minister to volunteer for active service as a chaplain to the Forces. After serving in the Middle East, he was posted to Europe to take up the office of Senior Jewish Chaplain to the British Liberation Army, later known as the British Army of the Rhine. He subsequently became Senior Jewish Chaplain to all H.M. Armed Forces.

    Isaac Levy was for many years minister to the Hampstead, Hampstead Garden Suburb and Bayswater synagogues. He died on 31st of March 2005.

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    Halban
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Bergen--Belsen 1945
Isaac Levy
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