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Westerbork

From Academic Kids

This article is about the concentration camp. For the village of Westerbork, see Midden-Drenthe.


Camp Westerbork was a World War II concentration camp in the province of Drenthe, the Netherlands.

In 1939 the Dutch government erected a refugee camp in Hooghalen, ten kilometers north of Westerbork. In Kamp Westerbork people from German, but also coming from Austrian, Czechoslovakian and Polish, 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 1942 and about mid-1943, almost every Tuesday a cargo train left for the concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau and Sobibór. In the period from 1942 to 1945, a total of 107,000 people passed through the camp. Only 5,000 of them survived, most of them in Theresienstadt or Bergen-Belsen, or liberated in Westerbork.

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

Canadians liberated the several hundred inhabitants that were still there on April 12, 1945.

Following its use in the 2nd World War, 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). In 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. On the site there now is a museum and a monument in remembrance to those transported and killed during the 2nd World War.

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

External links

de:KZ Westerbork nl:Kamp Westerbork fi:Westerbork

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