View of the barracks in Amersfoort
The camp of Amersfoort was located along the highway Utrecht - Amersfoort, in the province of Utrecht. Amersfoort was with Vught and Westerbork one of the three concentration camps operated by the Nazis in Holland. For the German administration, Amersfoort was a Police Camp (Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort). Not much information is recorded concerning living conditions in this camp. What is known is that thousands of Dutch and Belgian civilians received harsh and cruel treatment at the hands of the Nazis and hundreds were executed at this camp.
In the early stages of Nazi measures against the Jewish people camp Amersfoort also was used to confine and then deport the Jews of Amersfoort. In 1941, eight hundred and twenty Jews lived in the city of Amersfoort. The municipality at first resisted anti-Jewish measures, but could not prevent the removal of Jews from Amersfoort's economic and cultural life. By 22 April 1943 most of the Jewish population in camp Amersfoort was transferred to concentration camp Vught, another of the Nazi camps in the Netherlands. From there they were deported to Poland for extermination. After that date the camp took on the identity of a notorious concentration camp. Life was extremely harsh and torturous for the inmates. Many escapees were shot by the SS. Many Dutch Jews joined others in escape attempts. Most were shot by the SS, however some made good their escape and joined Resistance Fighters which were active in every Nazi occupied country. Capture by the SS meant torture and certain death.
We don't have any document concerning the conditions of life in this camp. What is known is that thousands of Dutch and Belgian civilians received harsh and cruel treatment at the hands of the Nazis and hundreds were executed at this camp.
As a Polizeiliches Durchgangslager, concentration camp Amersfoort became an establishment to imprison and torture prominent Dutch and Belgian citizens. At the time of liberation only four hundred and fifteen survivors were counted. Hardly any of the survivors were Jews.
Exhumation in Amersfoort