Westerbork (camp)

Westerbork (camp)

Camp Westerbork was a World War II concentration camp in Hooghalen, ten kilometers north of Westerbork, in the northeastern Netherlands. Its function during the Second World War was to assemble Roma and Dutch Jews for transport to other Nazi concentration camps.

In 1939, the Dutch government erected a refugee camp, "Centraal Vluchtelingenkamp Westerbork", in which people--mostly from Germany, but also from Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland, and mostly of Jewish faith--were housed after they had tried in vain to escape Nazi terror in their homeland. During World War II, the Nazis used the facilities and turned it into a deportation camp for Jews, about 400 Gypsies and, in the very end of the War, for some 400 women from the resistance movement.

Between July 1942 and September 1944, almost every Tuesday a cargo train left for the concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibór, Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt. In the period from 1942 to 1945, a total of 107,000 people passed through the camp on a total of 93 outgoing trains. Only 5,200 of them survived, most of them in Theresienstadt or Bergen-Belsen, or liberated in Westerbork. stayed in this hut from August until early September 1944, when she was taken to Bergen-Belsen.

Anne Frank and her family were put on the first of the three final trains (the three final transports were most probably a reaction to the Allies' offensive) on September 2, 1944 for Auschwitz, arriving there three days later.

Etty Hillesum stayed in this camp from 30 July 1942 until 7 September 1943, when she and her family were put on the train to Auschwitz.

The Canadian 2nd Infantry Division liberated the several hundred inhabitants that were still there on April 12, 1945. The first soldiers to the camp were from the 8th Reconnaissance Regiment, followed by troops of the South Saskatchewan Regiment. [ [http://www.cympm.com/westerbork.html westerbork website] ]

Following its use in World War II, the Westerbork camp was first used as a penalty camp for alleged and accused Nazi collaborators and later housed Dutch nationals who fled the former Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). Between 1950–1970 the camp was renamed to "Kamp Schattenberg" and used to house refugees from the Maluku Islands.

In the 1970s the camp was demolished. Near the site there is now a museum, and monuments of remembrance of those transported and killed during World War II. The camp is freely accessible.

The "Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope" (WSRT) was partially constructed on the site of the camp in 1969.


ee also

*List of Nazi-German concentration camps

External links

* [http://www.joodsmonument.nl/index.php?lang=en All Dutch Jewish Holocaust victims]
* [http://www.max-ehrlich.org Cabaret Behind Barbed Wire: Max Ehrlich & the Westerbork Theater Group]
* [http://www.chgs.nl Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies] (in Dutch language)
* [http://www.niod.nl Dutch institute for war documentation] (in Dutch language)
* [http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/Westerbork.html Jewish Virtual Library]
* [http://www.westerbork.nl/ Memorial Center Camp Westerbork]
* [http://www.edwardvictor.com/Holocaust/Netherlands.htm Netherlands: Westerbork]
* [http://www.numismondo.com/pm/wbk Westerbork Paper Money]

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