University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Westerbork Transit Camp

Westerbork Transit Camp is a three-hour drive east of Amsterdam on the German-Dutch border. Before the outbreak of World War II, Westerbork served as a transit point for Jewish refugees from Germany attempting to enter The Netherlands. After the occupation of Holland and the beginning of Jewish deportations, Westerbork served as a stop on the way to Auschwitz. Otto Frank and his family, including his daughter Anne Frank, lived in this camp until they were deported to Auschwitz in late 1944. Gypsies (Roma and Sinti) were also deported from Westerbork and are memorialized there.

After the war, Westerbork was used as a refugee camp for Dutch and Indonesians, as well as immigrants from the South Moluccan Islands to Holland.

The buildings of the camp were torn down in the 1950s. The camp today contains various memorials and indications of where the buildings and railroad ramp once stood. A museum at Westerbork contains varying exhibitions about the deportation of Dutch Jews.
The memorial at the camp was designed by Ralph Prins, Dutch Jewish Holocaust Survivor.

The large Appelplatz Memorial is made of small rectangular stones inserted into the ground at an angle, with a silver flame insignia for Roma and Sinti, and Star of David for Jewish victims. There is one stone for every person who passed through the camp. 104,000 Dutch Jews were deported to Auschwitz, Theresienstadt and Bergen-Belsen. 102,000 were deported through

Photo Gallery

Model of camp in museum

Model of camp in museum

Entrance to camp

Discussion with Westerbork Survivor Louis de Wijze

Discussion with survivor Louis de Wizje at memorial

Grou with survivor Louis de Wizje. Official delegation from May, 2001 Amsterdam Conference.

Site of former ramp

Memorial stone placed by Israeli government. "My Sorrow is Continually Before Me"

Markings of former barracks

Lamentations 4:18 "They hunt our steps that we cannot go into our streets. Our end is near, our days are fulfilled for our end has come."

Appelplatz Monument - In shape of map of Netherlands

Appelplatz Monument - Carved stone with insignia

Appelplatz Monument - Detail

Appelplatz Monument - Detail

Appelplatz Memorial - Stars for Jews, Flame for Roma/Sinti (gypsies)

Appelplatz Monument - Stars represent Jews

Flames represent Roma/Sinti

End of rail spur into camp

National Memorial. Ralph Prins, designer, former inmate

National Memorial designed by Ralph Prins

Westerbork Museum - Exhibition Hall

Westerbork Museum - Suit cases

Westerbork Museum - Exhibit of theatre at camp

Westerbork Museum - Reconstructed bunk

Westerbork Museum - Exhibition Hall

Westerbork Museum - Exhibit on post-war Dutch and Indonesian returnees

Westerbork Museum - Holocaust sculpture

Westerbork Museum - Cart used by Jews

Photos by Stephen Feinstein, May, 2001.