Camp Erika



In 1923 Baron Van Palland donated his 18th century castle en 2000 hectare woodland belonging to his estate Eerde, in the proximity of Ommen, Province of Overijssel, to the British Indian Jiddu Krishnamurti. This man was the head of the order of the Star, a theosophical movement. During the summer of 1924 the first Star camp gathered in the woods of this estate. In the following years small wooden houses and large wooden barracks were built in this hilly area the Besthemerberg, to house administration, kitchen, warehouses, lavatories and washrooms. Krishnamurti left, but the meetings continued until 1939. In 1940 the meeting was postponed because of the threat of war.

At the end of 1940 the camp was not liquidated, as was usual with unwanted organisations, but transferred in its entirety to the head of the executive body Referat Internationale organisationen, (Unit international organisations), Werner Schwier, a horse butcher from Germany, born in 1907, who falsely liked to grace himself with the title of Doctor, also held other jobs within the NSDAP, such as Gauredner†and†BereitschaftsfŁhrer der Ordensburger†(function within a training program for the party framework). The Star camp would yet prove its use, at least in the eyes of Schwier.

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Gate ĎAí of the outer ring. The transfer of the prisoners took place here
(Source: Historische Kring Ommen)

Plan of camp Erika.
(Source: Historische Kring Ommen)


Translated by:
Cor Korpel
Article by:
Frank Meijerink
Published on:
Last edit on:
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