Former execution site

The former execution site at Camp Vught is within walking distance of the museum, hidden in the woods. There is now a monument to the 329 men executed there. The trail is roughly 2.5 kilometres long.

The first prisoner was executed by firing squad in June 1944. He had been found guilty of sabotage by the Philips-Kommando. On 16 September, four men were taken from the prison in Den Bosch to the firing squad site and executed; they were the last victims. Mass executions took place in August and September 1944, under pressure of the Allied advance. Men were brought to Vught from various prisons, but mainly from the prison for convicted offenders in Scheveningen. After Hitler announced the Niedermachungsbefehl on 30 July 1944, all administration of justice against ‘saboteurs’ was abolished and they could be put to death without any form of trial.

The memorial was unveiled by Princess Juliana on 20 December 1947.

Most prisoners were only held for a short time in the bunker prison of the Vught concentration camp before the death sentence was carried out. The firing squad was primarily made up of Dutch members of the SS tasked with guarding the camp perimeter. Prisoners in the camp were able to hear the shots. Following the evacuation of the camp, a number of people who lived near erected a wooden cross; Queen Wilhelmina attended the first commemoration in 1946. The stone memorial displaying the names of those who were executed was unveiled by Princess Juliana on 20 December 1947. An annual public commemoration is held here on 4 May, organised by the local council.

The monument at the execution site was defaced in 1995 and 1997. The culprits have never been found. An unidentified person fastened a poem to the gate of the firing squad site in 1995; it was cast in bronze and can still be seen today. The defaced panels have been given a place in the memorial centre as part of the permanent exhibition.

Route

Leave the main entrance of the memorial centre and turn left into the woods (Lunettepad). Immediately turn right onto the gravel path. The route to the execution site is signposted from here by little posts with a blue watchtower on top. The circular walk takes about half an hour and is 2.5 kilometres long. Keep following the signs to arrive back at Camp Vught National Memorial.

Please note, this route is unsuitable for wheelchairs; disabled people can access the firing squad site via Loonsebaan.

Camp railway track

Three reconstructed sections of the camp railway track were installed close to the museum, connected together by a 4-kilometre-long trail. This route also takes you past the execution site.

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