Nederlands Exposition in Auschwitz Deportation

Westerbork until 1942

Before the war, Westerbork camp was a refugee camp. In May 1940, there were around 750 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria in Westerbork. On 1 July 1942, the camp was officially taken over by the SS. From the beginning of July 1942, Jews started to receive call-ups for work in Germany. On 14 and 15 July, trains with Jews left for the Westerbork transit camp. Immediately following, the first deportation trains left in the direction of Auschwitz.

From a refugee camp to a transit camp
Drawings from Westerbork

Afbeelding 2Afbeelding 4Afbeelding 3Afbeelding 1Lichtbak
  1. Chief Administrator Kurt Schlesinger working at his desk in Westerbork. Schlesinger, a German Jewish refugee, had lived in the camp since February 1940. In October 1942, after the arrival of camp commander Gemmeker, he became the chief administrator, which in fact made him Gemmeker's deputy. "He became the King of the Jews, the deputy of Gemmeker, who was his supervisor", writes Philip Mechanicus in his diary, Westerbork, 3 August 1943.
    Unknown photographer, NIOD Collection, Amsterdam / HCKW, Hooghalen
  2. Camp commander Gemmeker (left) talking with Aus der Fünten, leader of the Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung in Amsterdam, Westerbork, Christmas 1942.
    Unknown photographer, NIOD Collection, Amsterdam / HCKW, Hooghalen
  3. A wide road ran across Westerbork camp, which the prisoners named the ‘Boulevard des Misères’.
    Unknown photographer, NIOD Collection, Amsterdam / HCKW, Hooghalen
  4. The Jewish Ordedienst in action
    Initially, the Ordedienst comprised of people who were already in Westerbork when it was a refugee camp. The members of the Ordedienst were not liked: Jewish SS they were called contemptuously because they had to do everything that the camp authorities ordered. They were also deployed during actions outside of the camp, such as by the big Razzias in Amsterdam in 1943.
    Unknown photographer, NIOD Collection, Amsterdam / HCKW, Hooghalen
  5. Map of the Central Refugee Camp Westerbork in 1939.
    The purple part shows the expansion in 1942 when Westerbork was turned from a transit camp into a deportation camp for deportations to concentration and extermination camps in 'the east'.
    HCKW Collection, Hooghalen
jew in the netherlands
german invasion
going into hiding
sinti and roma
dutch people in auschwitz
guest book
westerbork until 1942
amersfoort camp
vught concentration camp
westerbork camp 1942-1944
transports to auschwitz
other camps
april/may strikes
handing in radios
radio oranje

railway strike 1944
winter of starvation
the south is liberated