"Those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
Belene concentration camp was part of the network of forced labour camps in Communist Bulgaria. It was located on the Persin (Belene) Island, between two branches of the Danube river.
The opponents of the communist dictatorship were forced to live in inhuman conditions ñ daily physical labour, intolerable demands and under constant armed guard. They were forced to live in bunkers and huts which they built themselves with whatever materials they could find. Hunger was the most terrible thing they were subject to.
Tens of thousands of prisoners passed through the camps.
Every year from 1990 at the end of May or the beginning of June, an annual pilgrimage to the site of the former camp is held. For the rest of the year the island is closed for visitors.
This pictures are from 2017 annual service of remembrance for the victims of the communist camps. (Photos and text by Svilen Nachev)