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Last transport with Jewish prisoners leaves Westerbork, in the Netherlands, for Auschwitz

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

Between 15 July 1942 and 13 September 1944, a total of 107,000 people were deported from Camp Westerbork, which was in the Dutch province of Drenthe. Of these, only 5,000 survived the war.

On July 15, the first train left for Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was the first of a total of 97 trains that went east from Westerbork. Most of the prisoners arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Trains also ran to Sobibor, Theresienstadt, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and Ravensbrück.

In Berlin, SS men, led by Adolf Eichmann, determined when the train departed, where and how many people had to go with it. The camp commander of Westerbork, Albert Konrad Gemmeker, was responsible for the transport lists. However, he left the drafting of these to the Jewish camp leadership.

In the beginning, two trains a week left Westerbork. One from March 1943. On September 13, 1944, the last transport left with 279 people. About 500 prisoners remained that day.

During the liberation of Westerbork by the Canadians, there were still 876 Jewish prisoners in the camp.

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