Distance from the Belsen Heap: Allied Forces and the Liberation of a Nazi Concentration Camp


Product Details

University of Toronto Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 0.7 X 8.9 inches | 1.1 pounds
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About the Author

Mark Celinscak is the Louis and Frances Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Executive Director of the Sam and Frances Fried Holocaust and Genocide Academy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


"It is the single best book on the liberation of Belsen or any other one of the camps that became symbols of Nazi depravity."

- Robert Abzug - Canadian Jewish Studies / Etudes juives canadiennes, vol. 24, 2016 - 20161207

"This book is a valuable addition, with new information, to accounts about this infamous place"

- Jane S Gabin - The Wiener Library, December 2016 - 20161223

'A thoughtful and useful addition to the literature on the Holocaust, Celinscak's work brings together solid archival research and interdisciplinary approaches to shed important new light on an under-research subject.'

- Nicholas J. Steneck - The Journal of Military History vol 80:04:2016

'This book is a worthy addition to any scholar's library, especially those who study the Holocaust, genocide, or World War II.'

- Melissa Young - H-Net/H-War September 2016

'Celinscak's book is yet again proof that much new material on the Holocaust remains to be discovered and that even the best-known parts of the history hold secrets yet to be uncovered.'

- Dan Stone - Holocaust and Genocide Studies, vol 30:03:2016

'Required reading. Essential. All levels/libraries.'

- M.A. Mengerink - Choice Magazine vol 53:11:2016
"A very well documented study of one of the key events in the history of the Holocaust. Engaging, well researched, and unusually specific in the lenses." - Jury, Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature

"This is a remarkable account of the Allied liberation of Belsen. It builds on the growing and diverse scholarship in the field and develops it further by wide ranging and careful research. This topic requires a sensitive approach and Celinscak has more than met this challenge. Sources ranging from art and photography, oral history, and contemporary reports are combined with great subtlety and purpose. Neglected areas, especially the Canadian forces and their role in the camp's liberation, are rightly restored to the narrative. Multidisciplinary, it is a major contribution to Holocaust studies."

- Tony Kushner, Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton

"A valuable, thoroughly researched work, Distance from the Belsen Heap rightly rebalances the story of Bergen-Belsen's liberation to include the Canadian experience."

- Suzanne Bardgett, Head of Research and Academic Partnerships, Imperial War Museums

'A brilliant rendition of the reactions to the discovery of Bergen-Belsen and of the cultural imprint that the dreaded camp left behind.... Distance from Belsen heap deserves a wide readership outside of specialist academic circles.'

- Robert Engen - Canadian Historical Review vol 98:04:2017

'The book is meticulously researched and well written. It is a necessary read for anyone who wishes to truly grasp the trauma that concentration camp victims and their liberators had to endure.'

- Patricia Kollander - Yearbook of German-American Studies 2016
"Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or others involved in treating veterans could use Celinscak's interdisciplinary insights to understand their patients better. Celinscak's book is a major contribution to genocide and trauma studies. It shows that the victims of Nazi concentration camps were not the only ones who experienced trauma - their liberators did as well."
- Filip Mazurczak - The Oral History Review