Doorgangskampen in Nederland

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Doorgangskampen in Nederland

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 06 nov 2010, 00:47

The town of Westerbork is situated in the northeast of the Netherlands in the province of Drenthe, about 130 km (80 miles) north of Amsterdam. In a resolution proposed by the Minister of Home Affairs and approved by the Dutch cabinet on 13 February 1939, it was determined to construct a camp "to house the refugees from Germany that live in this country". Opened on 9 October 1939, the costs of constructing the camp, amounting to 1.25 million gulden, were charged to the Jewish Refugee Committee in the Netherlands.
When the Germans invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, there were 750 refugees resident in the camp. Initially moved to Leeuwarden, they were moved back to Westerbork following the Dutch surrender. The camp came under the control of the Ministry of Justice on 16 July 1940. Refugees from other camps were subsequently moved to Westerbork, which by 1941 had a population of 1,100 in 200 small wooden houses. In the words of one commentator, it was a site "about as inhospitable as could be, far from the civilized world in the isolation of the Drenthe moorland, difficult to reach, with unpaved roads where even the slightest shower would turn the sand to mud." The camp was also plagued by hosts of flies during the summer months.

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