Kamp Vught
Up Market Garden MG Pathfinders One Stick Characters Redtails OSS and the Underground ClarkAir Female POW Flight Nurses Kamp Vught



Konzentrationslager Herzogenbusch: Tragically, every terrible situation regarding the prisoners in the novel really happened at Kamp Vught, as it was called in English. It truly was a “concentration” camp. Prisoners, mostly Jews, were collected from other locations, gathered at Kamp Vaught and sent by train to one of the extermination camps to the east. Hundreds of prisoners died as a result of maltreatment, shortage of clothing, lack of food, polluted water, and various infectious diseases that were rampant in the overcrowded barracks in the camp. Thousands of the prisoners transported from Kamp Vught were executed immediately upon arriving at the extermination camps. One section of Vught was designed as a security camp (Schutzhaftlager). This section received all the Dutch and Belgian political prisoners, men, women and children. The box on the right shows the sum of a typical girl's possessions. The guards were exclusively SS. The food was nearly nonexistent: warm water with some carrots or sauerkraut floating on the surface. The SS guards tortured the prisoners with incredible cruelty beating many of them to death (several prisoners were brutalized with a club wrapped with barbed wire). The SS often provoked their dogs to attack the prisoners. A large number of prisoners (mostly members of the resistance) were executed in the woods near the camp at the “Fusilladeplaats,” a firing range where the prisoners were stood in front of the berm and shot.

Vught had its own gallows and crematorium. In September 1943, the gallows was used for the executions of 20 Belgian prisoners. There were several convoys from Vught to the major camps located in Germany and Poland. In June 1943, hundreds of Jewish children were sent to Sobibor extermination camp. There were also transportation of Jews to death camps in November 1943 and June 1944. In July, as the Allied forces approached, the number of executions increased dramatically.

More than 30,000 people passed through the gates of the camp in the 18 months before the Allied forces arrived. After D-day, June 6, 1944, the Germans wanted to clear the camp as fast as possible. Most of the women were transported to the concentration camp in Ravensbrück, and the men to Sachsenhausen. On September 5-6, 1944, Vught was practically evacuated. It wasn’t until October 26-27, 1944, that Vught was liberated by the 4th Canadian Armor Division and the 96th Battery of the 5th Anti -Tank Division. They made contact with the camp while engaged in combat with the Germans’ rear guard. As the Canadians entered the camp they encountered 500 bodies lying in a pile, executed that morning. There were around 500-600 live prisoners left who had been scheduled for execution that afternoon. The Canadian's arrival spared them.


RAIL BRIDGE at 's-Hertogenbosch: The rail line from the Kamp Vaught carrying prisoners to the extermination camps crossed the Zuid-Willemsvaart  canal bridge at 's-Hertogenbosch, much as described. The only liberty taken with the canal was ignoring the lock situated slightly south of 's-Hertogenbosch.

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