Concentration camp Vught

Liberation and after the war

On Dolle Dinsdag (Mad Tuesday) on 5 September 1944, the SS-men in camp Vught did not want to await the approaching allied troops. They evacuated the camp in a hurry. After the last Jews transport on 2 June 1944, the remaining male prisoners were deported to Sachsenhausen from 5 June onwards. The still remaining women were relocated to Ravensbrück on 5 September 1944. A district nurse from Vught took over the daily management of the camp on 12 September 1944 on behalf of the Red Cross.

On 26 October 1944, camp Vught was freed by the Allies, but by then all prisoners had been put on transport, so all they found was an empty camp. The camp site was put into use by the Canadians. Thousands of people were temporarily put up in the camp, including Germans who were evacuated from the border region.

After the war, the former concentration camp Vught served as an internment camp for a while for Dutch citizens who were suspected of collaboration and war crimes. A total of 7,000 collaborators were accommodated here, including 300 Dutch SS-men. The SS-men had to wear the striped uniforms that used to be worn by the camp prisoners.

After the last prisoners had left, the barracks were temporarily vacant. In 1951, the vacant camp complex was used to accommodate southern Moluccan militaries and their families. They had fought alongside the Dutch army in the battle against the proclaimed Republic of Indonesia. After the Dutch had definitely retreated, it was no longer safe for them to stay in Indonesia. It was the intention that they would only stay there for a short period of time, but this was a miscalculation. It is true that the Moluccan community in the so-called living area Lunetten has become smaller in size, but they are still living there. Since 1992 they have left the barracks and reside in newly build houses. All the old barracks have been demolished, with the exception of one, which is partly used as a church and is a listed building. Some of the new houses have been designed in the shape of the original barracks.

Besides the Moluccan living area Lunetten, also a prison, two army barracks and the National Monument camp Vught can be found on the former camp site. On the site of the Van Brederode army barracks a number of original buildings are still present, where among other things, SS-guards were housed during the war. These are also listed buildings.

Thanks to the efforts of the Foundation National Monument Camp Vught, which was founded in 1986, the National Monument was realised on a small part of the former camp site. On 18 April 1990 the National Monument was opened to the public by Queen Beatrix. In 2002, a new commemoration centre was built and the camp site was restored as much as possible to its original state. The National Monument Camp Vught keeps "the memory to the history of the camp and the victims alive. In words and images, also current forms of prejudices, discrimination and racism are being showed. This makes it tangible how – even in these days – personal choices of individuals can lead to suppression and the shutting out of other people in society."


Cooperation of the people with the occupying forces, more generally spoken the term for individuals who cooperate with the occupying force is collaborator.
concentration camp
Closed camp where people are being held captive that are considered to be anti- social, enemies of the state, criminal or unwanted individuals. These groups mostly do not get a fair trial or are condemned to doing time in a camp.
Middle Eastern people with own religion that lived in Palestine. They distinguished themselves by their strong monotheism and the strict observance of the Law and tradition. During World War 2 the Jewish people were ruthlessly persecuted and annihilated by the German Nazis. . An estimated 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated.
Discrimination based on race.
war crimes
Crimes committed in wartime. Often concerning crimes committed by soldiers against civilians.


- JOCHEMS, D.B., Licht in het donker - Het Philips-Kommando in Kamp Vught, Vught, Stichting Nationaal Monument Vught.
- TIJENK, C., Weggehaald - Joodse kinderen en het kamp Vught, Vught, Vriendenkring Nationaal Monument Vught, 2004.
- UIJLAND, M., TIJENK, C., Eindpunt of tussenstation - Gids Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught, Vught, Stichting Nationaal Monument Vught, 2002.


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The Moluccan living area Lunetten.

Queen Beatrix during the inauguration of the National Monument Camp Vught on 18 April 1990.


Translated by:
STIWOT translator
Article by:
Kevin Prenger
Published on:
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