English information & guideCamp Vught National Memorial
5263 NT Vught, the Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)73-65 66 764
Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday / Sunday 12am to 5pm
Monday 10am to 5 pm (April - September)
(Other dates on special request only)
Closed: Monday, 25 and 31 December, 1 January, 10-31 January
Entrance: free - your donation is welcome
Although the museum is only a fraction of the former concentration camp, it still is an impressive place to visit. The monument shows to what lengths of brutality and inhumanity the Nazis went. It is impossible to deny what happened when walking around the very place where horrifying events took place.
Camp Vught National Memorial was reopened in 2002 after extensive renovations. A prisoner's barrack, three watch towers and the original fencing, as well as the cell 115 - where the bunker tragedy took place - have been reconstructed.
Although the information of the permanent exhibition is presently solely available in Dutch, a small English guide is available for € 3,00.
Upon request, guided tours in English (and in other languages) are available.
A visit to the Camp Vught National Memorial is useful to students who are studying World War II and the Shoa, providing a good overview of subjects such as people’s rights, ethics and values. The authentic nature of this historic place makes the theme more perceptible and gives students a real idea of how people lived here. Various programs can be put together in consultation with our education co-worker. Teaching material is available (including a special introduction film with English / French / German subtitels). Ask for Sanne Bolt.
Documentation Centre/Archives Camp Vught National Memorial
We still put together several eye-witness's accounts, books and documents relating to the history of Camp Vught. The library and documentation centre can solely be consulted upon appointment. Ask for Els van der Meer.
Friends of Camp Vught:
For a minimum charge of € 20 per year you can become a donor. Thereby indirectly supporting the work of the memorial centre. As a donor, you will be kept informed about activities in and around the memorial centre.
Short history of the concentration camp in Vught
Camp Vught holds a special Place in Dutch history of the Second World War. It was the only official SS-concentration camp in occupied North-West Europe. Construction of a large concentration camp in the woods at Vught started in May 1942. The first prisoners arrived at the camp before it was finished at the end of 1942. These prisoners came from the camp in Amersfoort, which the Nazis wanted to give up. The famished and abused prisoners arrived at the railway station in Vught and were marched off along the streets.
They were soon followed by thousands of Jews, who were told to report in Vught to supposedly “be put to work”. For these Jews, Camp Vught was actually a transit camp. The majority was swiftly relocated to another Dutch transit camp in Westerbork (in the province Drenthe) from where they were transported to the death camps in Poland.
Conditions in Camp Vught were initially deplorable. Hundreds of prisoners died during the first few months as a result of maltreatment, shortage of clothing, lack of food, polluted water, and various infectious diseases that were rampant in the overcrowded barracks. Many Jewish children were victims of this. After a while conditions improved simply because nearly all the Jews had been deported and so the camp had more space.
Altogether 749 people lost their lives for various reasons. A large number of them (mostly members of the resistance) were executed in the woods near the camp at the so called 'Fusilladeplaats'. This execution area is open all day, and is only a twenty minutes walk from the memorial centre.
First and foremost, Vught must be seen as it was meant to be for the Nazis - a 'model camp' - certainly terrifying but not so atrocious that the Dutch population would revolt against the occupier, even more than already was the case. Between July and September 1944 there were at least 329 resistance fighters were shot at the execution place in the woods.
More than 30.000 people had passed through the gates of the camp in the preceding 18 months. When the allied forces arrived, after D-day 6 June 1944, the Germans wanted to clear the camp as fast as possible. Most of the women were transported to the concentration camp in Ravensbrück, and the men to Sachsenhausen. On the 5th and 6th September 1944 Camp Vught was practically evacuated. It wasn’t until one and a half month later, on 26th and 27th October 1944 that Vught was liberated. There weren’t many left to be set free. It was almost deserted.
Directly after the liberation, the buildings of the camp were used as an “internment camp” to shut away the “bad” Dutch collaborators. There were also 6.000 evacuated Germans forced to stay in the camp until May 1945. The Canadian Army also utilized of the camp.
The internment camp existed until 1949. In 1951 the living accommodation (barracks) was used to house thousands of Moluccans who were brought in to Holland from South Molucca (a Dutch colony). To this very day there still is a housing estate on this site of the former camp.Since the war, important areas of the camp have stayed in use as military barracks. The Ministry of Justice still uses part of the former camp as a prison.
Guide Camp Vught National Memorial: Final destination or transit station.
The guide offers a view of the layout of the memorial centre, the permanent exhibition, and the section of the former camp terrains that are part of the monument. The history of Camp Vught is more than a summary of facts and numbers. It is the story of real lives and personal choices.
You can order this very informative book (11 euro: 84 pages, more than 150 illustrations, fulll colour) by using the form. From abroad it is only possible to order this book by paying in advance: we will inform you about the costs (including postage) if you send an e-mail to email@example.com You will receive the book after your payment is accepted (cheques are not accepted).
A group tour is recommended by Anglia Tours.
Informanten gezocht voor onderzoek
Kent u persoonlijke verhalen over hulp door burgers en bedrijven aan gevangenen van Kamp Vught en hun familie? Bezit u brieven of documenten daarover? Heeft u informatie over de thuissituatie van achtergebleven familieleden? Laat het ons weten... >>