Westerbork Concentration Camp
|Historical Name of Location||Hooghalen, Drenthe, Netherlands|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseThroughout the 1930s, many German Jews left Germany to neighboring countries such as the Netherlands, some legally and some without permission. In 1939, the Dutch government established the Central Refugee Camp in Hooghalen near the town of Westerbork in the northeastern part of the country to house the refugees who had arrived without permission. The first Jewish refugees moved in during the month of Oct 1939.
ww2dbaseIn May 1940, Germany occupied neutral Netherlands, and the camp continued to function; by 1941, it had a population of about 1,100. The camp facilities were taken over by the Germans in 1942, who enlarged the camp for the purpose of a transit camp. Between Jul 1942 and 3 Sep 1944, weekly trains brought Jews from Westerbork to labor and extermination camps to the east. 65 trains carrying 60,330 Jews went to Auschwitz in occupied Poland (most killed), 19 trains carrying 34,313 Jews went to Sobibór in occupied (all killed), 9 trains carrying 4,894 Jews to Theresienstadt in occupied Czechoslovakia (more than 2,000 killed), and a number of trains to Bergen-Belsen in Germany. In total, about 107,000 Jews had passed through Westerbork, and only about 5,200 survived the Holocaust. Anne Frank, of diary fame, was an inmate at Westerbork between Aug and Sep 1944.
ww2dbaseThe camp was liberated by the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division on 12 Apr 1945.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, the former Westerbork Concentration Camp was used as a prison camp to hold accused Nazi collaborators. Later, under the new name of Kamp Schattenberg, it was used as a refugee camp for people who fled from the turmoil in Indonesia, or Dutch East Indies. In the 1970s, most of the camp facilities were demolished, save for a small number that would be converted into a museum.
Westerbork Concentration Camp Timeline
|1 Jul 1942||The Westerbork transit camp in the Netherlands began operations.|
|11 Jan 1943||A transport of 750 Dutch Jews departed from Westerbork Concentration Camp in the Netherlands for Sobibór Concentration Camp in Poland.|
|12 Apr 1945||The Westerbork Concentration Camp at Hooghalen in the Netherlands was liberated by the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division.|
|WW2-Era Place Name||Hooghalen, Drenthe, Netherlands|
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945