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Opening The Gates of Hell: The untold story of Herbert Kenny, the man who discovered Belsen

Mark Hodkinson

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Biography: historical, political & military, The Holocaust, Second World War

The untold story of Herbert Kenny, the man who found and helped liberate Bergen-Belsen.

Herbert Kenny, an army dispatch rider, was the first ally to push open the gates at Belsen Concentration Camp, in April 1945.


He kept his story from the world until a chance correspondence with a trainee journalist brought it to light. Now, forty years on, that reporter is ready to share Herbert's incredible tale with the world.


With unprecedented access to Herbert's diaries, letters and interviews, Mark Hodkinson brings to life the harrowing conditions of Bergen-Belsen and its eventual liberation. From the events leading up to its gruesome discovery, to the trauma Herbert faced and his abandonment in the aftermath, this is a testament to the power of one person in the face of unimaginable darkness.


This is the tale of an ordinary man thrown into an extraordinary, life-changing situation. How can a person cope when they come face-to-face with history's darkest moment? Herbert Kenny was that man. This is his story.

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