Death in the Dora DP Camp

On 28 April 1945, 17 days after the liberation, the 26-year-old Belgian Gilbert Demoulin died in the former Dora concentration camp. The Americans had begun providing medical assistance to the surviving inmates immediately after liberating the camp. Many of those inmates were so debilitated, however, that further lives were lost daily.

Demoulin was already the 165th person to die in the Dora DP camp that had meanwhile been set up on the concentration camp grounds. The abbreviation DP stood for Displaced Persons – that is, persons who had been deported to Germany during the war.

Gilbert Demoulin had been a member of the resistance. In 1944, the German occupiers deported him from Liège to Silesia: initially to the Gross-Strehlitz prison and then to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp. The SS had subsequently transferred him to Mittelbau-Dora. He was so weak upon his arrival there in February 1945 that he was sent on to the Boelcke-Kaserne, a camp reserved for deathly ill and dying inmates. After the liberation, he received medical care – in vain. He was laid to rest in the honorary cemetery in Nordhausen on 1 May.

(Karsten Uhl)

Reference: Jens-Christian Wagner, Produktion des Todes: Das KZ Mittelbau-Dora, 3rd edition, Göttingen 2015.