Amersfoort concentration camp

The Amersfoort concentration camp (in Dutch , Amersfoort , in German , Durchgangslager Amersfoort ) was a concentration camp Nazi located in the southern part of Amersfoort , at the boundary between that city and Leusden , in the central region of the Netherlands . Its official name was “Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort”, PDA or Amersfoort Police Transit Field. Between 1941 and 1945 , it housed more than 35,000 prisoners.


Early years

In 1939 , Kamp Amersfoort was still a barracks complex that served for military artillery drills in nearby Leusderheide. From 1941 , he not only worked only as a transit camp, as its name suggests, it was also used as “criminal field” or “field”. During the camp’s existence, many prisoners were put to work on commandos. In all, around 37,000 prisoners were registered in Amersfoort. 1

To reach the camp, prisoners had to walk from the railway station through the city and into the residential suburbs: “Visible from the windows of most of the residences and behind closed curtains, there were numerous silhouettes, especially of children. Usually, the silhouettes did not move, sometimes weakly and furtively they greeted, the children who greeted were quickly withdrawn, a farewell from the uninhabited world turned into a kingdom of shadows. 2


The history of the field can be separated into two periods. The first period began on 18 of August of 1941 and ended in March 1943 . By March 1943, the first prisoners, with the exception of eight of them, were transferred to Kamp Vught . The transfer of prisoners to Vught allowed the culmination of the expansion of Kamp Amersfoort.

Amersfoort was a transit camp, from where the prisoners were sent to places such as Buchenwald , Mauthausen and Neuengamme . 3 was the 15 of July of 1942 when the Germans began deporting Jews Dutchmen from Amersfoort, Vught and Westerbork to the concentration camps and extermination such as Auschwitz , Sobibor and Theresienstadt . 4


The watchtower.

The watchtower, which can be seen at the commemorative site, was built around April or May 1943 , when the expansion of Kamp Amersfoort was complete and the prisoners could be relocated there again. The most important changes were the greater ‘accommodation capacity’ and the faster ‘rotation’. The same lack of hygiene, of food, of medical attention, as well as the cruelty of the guards continued; However, unlike other camps, the prisoners were attended by the Danish Red Cross . The second period came to an end on 19 of April of 1945 , when control of the camp was transferred to Loes van Overeem of the Red Cross. On May 7, the Allies arrived and the camp was officially released. 5

See also

  • Annex: Nazi concentration camps


  1. Back to top↑ Flehite Museum – Semi-permanent exhibition on occupation in Amersfoort occupation (1940-1945)
  2. Back to top↑ Dölle, Constant and John Vriend (2002). Encountering God in the Abyss , Peeters, p. 133.
  3. Back to top↑ Yad Vashem Studies . By Yad ṿa-shem, rashut ha-zikaron la-Sho’ah ṿela-gevurah. Posted by Yad Vashem Martyrs ‘and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, 1996; Anne Frank and by D. van Galen Last, Rolf Wolfswinkel, p. 157. Amsterdam University Press 1996.
  4. Back to top↑ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  5. Back to top↑ Stichting Nationaal Monument Kamp Amersfoort, Visitor’s Guide, p. 5.