Camp Westerbork was the site from which more than 100,000 Jews, Roma and Sinti people were transported to extermination camps in central and eastern Europe. But before it became a transit camp, Westerbork was a refugee camp where large groups of foreign Jews were housed. It was also where dozens of members of the resistance were shot dead during the Second World War.
Camp Westerbork as a ‘site of memory’
Camp Westerbork is also the place where, for more than two decades thousands of Moluccans were ‘temporarily’ housed. And it was where Indo Dutch people (individuals of mixed Indonesian and European ancestry) were received, soldiers trained and Dutch citizens suspected of Nazi collaboration interned. Camp Westerbork is a site of many meanings and associations: monument and museum; concrete and abstract; authentic and staged. Local, national and international heritage. Past and present.
Repository of transferable stories
The exhibition The Memory of Camp Westerbork explores how we have handled our memories of the war over the past 75 years. Part of the exhibition is devoted to interpretations by eight guest curators, who in turn present their own view of Camp Westerbork’s past and present. The first guest curators (July-September 2022) are the Jewish survivors and relatives Rozette Kats, Betty Schols-Meents, Alex Freddy Kan and Naomi Eliasar. Camp Westerbork plays an important role in each of their lives, as a memorial to deported and murdered loved ones.
Over the coming 16 months, seven further themes will be explored as part of The Memory of Camp Westerbork, including archaeology, heritage, the visual arts and photography. Museum displays, lectures and theatre performances from the perspective of the Sinti, Roma and Moluccan communities are also being organised. The exhibition programme will be continually updated,