Scrapbookpages Blog

January 15, 2018

Westerbork, the camp were Anne Frank was sent, is in today’s news

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 1:40 pm

You can read about the Nazi transit camp at Westerbork in this recent news article: https://www.timesofisrael.com/at-westerbork-virtual-reality-simulations-recreate-the-nazi-transit-camp/

Westerbork was the camp where Anne Frank was sent first, after she was captured when her hiding place in an attic in Amsterdam was discovered.

Knowing that his Jewish family might be deported, Otto Frank had prepared a hiding place in Amsterdam with a two-year supply of food and other essentials. Five months later, Anne and her family suddenly disappeared, leaving behind notes saying that they had gone to Switzerland, which was a neutral country during World War II.

Otto Frank’s brother actually did escape from occupied France to Switzerland, but Otto Frank had wanted to remain in Amsterdam because he was conducting a thriving business there.

Many other Jewish families in Amsterdam also went into hiding, trusting that their Dutch neighbors and business associates would not betray their hiding places to the police.

Approximately 25,000 Dutch Jews hid during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands which began after the Germans defeated the Dutch in May 1940 in the early part of World War II.

Those unfortunate Dutch Jews who did not go into hiding were taken to a transit camp at Westerbork, from where they were then transported by train to Auschwitz, the infamous killing center, located in what is now Poland. It was there that millions of Jews allegedly perished in gas chambers.

Today, Holocaust deniers claim that there were no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, but what do they know!

Many of the 160,000 Jews in the Netherlands were refugees, like the Franks and their friends in the annex, who had escaped from Germany after Hitler and the Nazis came to power in 1933.

Westerbork was originally a refugee camp for German Jews who were regarded as illegal immigrants in the Netherlands after they escaped over the border from Nazi Germany before the war.

The Franks went into hiding on July 6, 1942 shortly after Anne’s 13th birthday on June 12th. One week later they were joined by Hermann and Auguste van Pels, their 15-year-old son Peter and Peter’s cat. Dr. Pfeffer joined them on November 16, 1942, bringing along his dentist’s drill.

On August 4th, 1944, the police raided their hiding place in the annex and they were taken to the Westerbork transit camp on a passenger train, after a short stay at the Amsterdam headquarters of the Security Police.

On September 3, 1944, all 8 were loaded onto a freight train and taken on the last transport of Dutch Jews to Auschwitz, where they arrived on the night of September 5th and 6th.

Otto Frank was the only one of the 8 who survived. He died on August 19, 1980 in Switzerland.

Hermann van Pels was allegedly murdered in a gas chamber at Auschwitz in either September or October 1944, according to information presented at the Anne Frank House. Anne’s mother died of tuberculosis in January 1945 at Auschwitz. Anne and her sister died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen; the others all died from disease in various Nazi concentration camps to which they were transferred from Auschwitz.

Anne and her sister, Margot, were sent from Auschwitz on October 28, 1944 to the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp on a transport which, according to the International Red Cross, consisted of sick women who were expected to recover from their illness.

Later, Anne and Margot both became ill with typhus and both died in March 1945 during a horrendous epidemic in Bergen-Belsen. Both were buried in one of the unmarked mass graves there.