The conduction of the former Camp Westerbork is one of the blackest pages in the history of The Netherlands. It started in 1939 as a refugee camp for Jews fleeing from Germany and Austria. It was financed by the Jewish community itself. It soon turned from a refugee camp into a transitcamp lead by the German SS. From 1942 to 1944 107.000 Jews have been deported from the extermination camps in the Eastern part of Europe.
Prior to that, razzias started to occur, carried out by Dutch police officers who / sometimes supported by collaborators / chased Jews out of their homes. (In Dutch these collaborators are called: “NSB’ers”)
In the beginning of this dark episode the deportation trains (-originally purposed for the transportation of cattle-) stopped at the train station of the village Hooghalen, many times in the middle of the night. Men, women and children had to walk through the harsh weather conditions of the winter to the camp. Along the road that passes the farm of Petach Tikvah. By the end of 1942 the railway track was extended. Now the track went right to the camp and it was an arrival point and a places of departure as well.
“We are led away as cattle to be killed and lost”, rabbi Avraham Toncman wrote down on a piece of paper in the synagogue in Pekela (located in the province of Groningen). On July 15th 1942 was the first deportation to the east of Europe. And from then on customary every Tuesday. From Tuesday to the next Tuesday the camp inhabitants lived in fear, waiting… The Endlösung had started: the Jews were to be exterminated.
Place of memory and warning
First of all, “Westerbork” is first of remembrance for the over 100,000 innocent Jewish victims who have been transported from there. Besides that, it is a place of warning. When Jesus had lived in these days – being a Jew – he could have been transported along this way as well. This is a confronting thought… As well as the question: how could the extermination of over 6 million Jews have taken place in so called “Christian” countries?
It is very sad to realize that the Christian anti-Semitic doctrine helped Adolf Hitler to carry out his evil plans. It is also sad to realize that there is a deafening silence (more than 70 years after the Holocaust) regarding the Churches’ view when it comes to Gods plan with Israel and His people. Through the ages “Christians” have done exactly the opposite of what is written in Romans 11:11. They propagandised persecution and hatred towards to the Jews.