Veendam, Netherlands – Fire Destroys Anne Frank’s World War II Barracks


Barracks ablaze in Westerbork Photo: AFPVeendam, Netherlands – A fire in the northeast of the Netherlands has destroyed two wooden barracks in which Anne Frank was detained at the end of World War II.

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The two barracks were originally located at camp Westerbork, in the east of the country, where Dutch Jews were held as they were being deported to German concentration camps.

In 1957 the two barracks were sold and moved to the nearby village of Veendam, where they were used to store farming machinery. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

There were plans to move one of them, barrack number 57, to Westerbork, which now serves as a Holocaust memorial centre.

In August 1944 Anne Frank, who became world famous for her posthumously published Diary, and her sister Margot spent a few weeks in the barracks, where the Nazis used prisoners as forced labourers.

After her deportation to Auschwitz on the last transport from Westerbork, she died in Bergen-Belsen in March 1945, just weeks before the camp’s liberation.

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14 years ago

What a shame I just lost a grandmother who was talking a lot with freinds about the war and almost every one of freinds passed away allready so when hard evidance are destroyd it hurts

14 years ago

According the Dutch news sources there is a reason to assume this might very well be arson, there was no straw or the like, there was no thunderstorm, there was no electricity, and there have been quite some fires around Veendam lately…

Please do not use the AS-word, yes on the website of a regional paper, it was posted that fire should be set to the barrack, rather than to save this part of history, but there is no indication yet that the assumed arson was motivated by anti-Jewish sentiments, it may just have been an unguarded historically important object to some pyromaniac or the like. That setting fire to it has been suggested on the website of a regional newspaper does not change that.

The reason that it took so long to move the barrack on the other hand, is simply bureaucracy and lack of cooperation on the municipal level.