Bloemfontein Concentration Camp Essay

953 Words Mar 6th, 2012 4 Pages
Bloemfontein concentration camp during the Boer War

The Boer war has recently ended and the British have won the war. Thanks to Ms.Hobhouse’s help and her observations on the Bloemfontein concentration camp, our organization is willing to create awareness about the past events in South Africa.
The British created “refugee” camps (31 in total), and kept the women and children whose houses had been burnt there. For the British, this meant that the Boers who were fighting at the moment, would no longer be able to obtain food or other needs from their families. Moreover, it also meant that the men wouldn’t get to see their families. Nevertheless, their main goal was to demoralise the Boers by leaving their women and children
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The children were starved, crying out for food, and were callously treated, left shivering with cold. The British couldn’t care less for the children. The people were only given a blanket and a tent crowded with people to sleep. In these poor conditions, there were even Vermin crawling over the blankets. Additionally, when Emily Hobhouse noticed the lack of soap and complained about it, Hume replied by saying that soap was an article of luxury. According to Emily Hobhouse, the conditions of the camp were terrible, “I call this camp system a wholesale cruelty… To keep these Camps going is murder to the children”.

Bloemfontein hospital
Furthermore, the Bloemfontein camp hospital had a particularly bad reputation. The wards were dirty and unruly; the place was noisy as staff tramped up and down in nailed boots. Patients would be kept together in a room with other 10 different people. Shockingly, patients wouldn’t be separated by sex, age, or ailment. The Mothers weren’t allowed to visit their children, even if they were dying. They were only allowed to visit them once a week for only five minutes. Most of the deaths in this concentration camp were caused by Pneumonia, dysentery, and diarrhoea. Diarrhoea caused the death of 29 babies in February 1901.
Daily Diet for the Prisoners
In concentration camps, there were two types of prisoners. The “Refugees” which were usually

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