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Overture

The deportation and the murdering of the Jewish Dutch citizens were preceded by a perfidious overture. In small steps the Jewish part of our population was ever more isolated from the rest of the population (Drawn from article Frans van den Muijsenberg).

01-07-1940 Ban for Jews to work in the air protection service.
06-09-1940 Ban to employ Jews in public administration. Jews already employed are not allowed to be promoted. Shortly after that this was expanded from ministries and universities to all subsidised institutions.
26-09-1940 Ban for Jewish papers to publicise with exclusion of Het Joodsche Weekblad.
05-10-1940 All employees at universities, ministries, and subsidised institutions have to sign an "Ariërverklaring" on their descendancy.
22-10-1940 All Jewish businessmen must have their company registered. This regulation regulates by and large also who will and who will not be considered as Jew. Here is this formulation used to prevent that the companies can not be transferred too easily on the name of others. The definition will, however, later on with the deportations often be used: Jewish is everybody with three or more Jewish grandparents, who is member of a Jewish congregation, or is married with a Jew.
04-11-1940 Announcement that as from November 21 all Jewish civil servants will be suspended and later on dismissed.
19-12-1940 Ban for Jews to have German domestic staff employed.
09-01-1941 Ban for Jews to visit cinemas.
10-01-1941 All Jews or persons with at least one Jewish grandparent have to be registered at the civil administration. Within four weeks after the proclamation all municipalities must have reported, which is perfectly executed within the given term. Only some individuals (twenty according to dr. Lou de Jong) within the Jewish population refuse. Officially there are 160,820 Jews registered, of whom 15,549 half-Jews and 5,719 quarter-Jews.
16-01-1941 An additional arrangement follows for Amsterdam, the city where by far the largest part of the Jewish population is living. They have also to state how many houses and how many shops are possessed by Jews, where their schools and synagogues are located, which tramway- and bus lines go to those neighbourhoods, and which cultural institutions there are.
12-02-1941 The neighbourhood with many Jewish people in Amsterdam is fenced with barbed wire and renamed into the Jewish Quarter. The fence is removed shortly after that, but the signs remain.
13-02-1941 Establishment of the Jewish Council, which gets the dubious task to implement all German measures – including to define which group of Jews will have to go with the next transport - and to stifle all protests at once. For this they have the only Jewish paper, Het Joodsche Weekblad, at their disposal.
22-02-1941 First detentions of 427 Jews who are transported to Mauthausen, after violent protests against the measures. As a reaction to this the February strike bursts out, the one and only anti-pogrom strike during the whole war.
15-04-1941 Ban for Jews to possess radio’s.
01-05-1941 Jewish lawyers and doctors are not anymore allowed to have non-Jewish clients and patients.
01-05-1941 Jews are not anymore allowed to visit markets.
31-05-1941 Ban for Jews to visit swimming pools and beaches.
11-06-1941 Second deportation of 300 Jews from Amsterdam to Mauthausen.
08-08-1941 First LiRo-proclamation VO 148/1941: Jews are obliged to transfer their bank credits of more than one thousand guilders (approximately 450 euro) to the Lippmann-Rosenthal Bank, a previous Jewish bank that was taken over by the Germans.
01-09-1941 Jewish children are not allowed anymore at public schools.
14-09-1941 Third razzia, in Twente hundreds of Jewish men are taken into custody and deported.
15-09-1941 Ban for Jews to visit parks, zoos, cafés, restaurants, hotels, theatres and museums.
Fourth razzia, in Gelderland. Hundreds of Jews are arrested and deported.
09-01-1942 Jewish identity cards need to get a "J".
10-01-1942 In the Eastern and Northern parts of the country working camps for Jews are established.
20-03-1942 Ban for Jews to posses or drive means of transportation.
26-03-1942 Ban for Jews to marry non-Jews.
03-05-1942 All Jews older than six years must visibly wear a yellow six pointed star of David with the word "Jew" on their clothes.
21-05-1942 Second LiRo-proclamation VO 58/1942. Jews have to hand in all their gold, silver, antiquities, art objects, valuable goods and cultural objects at Lippmann-Rosenthal at the Sarphatistraat in Amsterdam.
12-06-1942 Jews are only allowed to go shopping at certain hours at a limited number of shops.
30-06-1942 Establishing the curfew, Jews must be at home between 20.00 o'clock and 06.00 o'clock.
05-06-1942 The first appeals by the Jewish Council arrive in the mail box.
06-07-1942 Ban for Jews to make phone calls and ban to visit non-Jews.
14-07-1942 First transport of Amsterdam Jews to the transit camp Westerbork.
15-07-1942 The first train with 1,135 Jews leaves from Westerbork for Auschwitz. Until September 13, 1944 weekly a train will leave for Auschwitz or Sobibor.
22-07-1942 The Hollandsche Schouwburg is put into service as collection point where the Jews have to apply and seized and arrested Jews are detained.
       
The precursory phase

The last step before the transfer of the Jewish inhabitants of the provincie of Drenthe to the camp Westerbork was the transfer of the boys and men who were capable to work to all kinds of working camps in the province. In that way they were separated from the rest of their family. In the villages and cities of Drenthe only the women, young children and the older persons were left behind. From this group no strong resistance was to be expected against the transfer to the camp Westerbork.
The working camps in Drenthe were no invention of the Germans. They existed already before the German invasion and were established in the framework of relief work. Unemployed persons from all over the country were housed in these camps and contributed to the cultivation of the moors of Drenthe. The first cultivation in Drenthe took place in 1907, in the Zeijerveld near Assen. In particular after 1930 the Heidemaatschappij had many projects in Drenthe for cultivation of heath and forests.
On January 9, 1942 2,000 Jewish men received the message that they had to apply for an examination at the Jewish Council in Amsterdam. One day later they were sent to working camps in the Northern provinces to do cultivation work in particular for the Heidemij. There was hardly any work during the first months. The soil was frozen and boredom commenced. Writing a letter to friends or family, walking in the environment or playing cards would offer some distraction.
After this first group still many Jewish men from all parts of the country would follow. Nobody was prepared for the conditions in the working camps. The heavy work on the land was totally unknown to most of them. The home front had to provide the necessary additional support in the form of clothes, money and food. This help came also from the surrounding neighbourhood, sometimes as charity, but often financially motivated.
In the beginning of 1942 the Nazi's definitely decided for deportation and destroying the Jews. As a consequence the circumstances in the more than forty working camps strongly changed during the spring and summer of 1942. The regime became heavier and was often established on German basis. The ransoms and the salaries became less and time for leave and visiting limited. Letters were censured and punishments were more frequently executed.
The first deportations to camp Westerbork - and subsequently to Eastern Europe - fuelled uncertainty and fear. Some volunteered for transport to Westerbork, afraid of possibly missing their family members. Others escaped. The open places were filled with new workers who often were still less suitable for the work.
On the evening of October 2, 1942 SS-men appeared at the Jewish working camps, simulating to pass the night there. Some Jewish men smelled danger and tried to flee. The family members of the camp inhabitants were meanwhile taken from their homes by the Germans and also transferred to camp kamp Westerbork.
In the morning of October 3, 1942 all Jewish working camps were emptied and everybody was brought to camp Westerbork. Of course the camp was not prepared for such large numbers of people and due to that the people were almost immediately deported to the extermination camps in Eastern Europe, where most of them were killed within fourteen days!

The 41 camps eventually turned out to be a preparatory step for deportation to camp Westerbork. Also the working camps at a.o. Oude Willem, Fochteloo, Norg, Echten, Mantinge, Vledder, Orvelte, Oranjekanaal, Gijsselte, Stuifzand, Geesbrug, and Hoogeveen were evacuated in de night of October 2 to 3, 1942. The family members who were left behind were taken from their homes and joined with their men and fathers.(RTV Drenthe)

The working camps in Drenthe (See also Niek van der Oord: Jodenkampen, Kampen (Kok) 2003, 2e druk 2007):

Diever Working camp A, in Oude Willem
Diever Working camp B, in Oude Willem
Echten Working camp Echten
Gijsselte Working camp Gijsselte
Hoogeveen Working camp Kremboong
Hoogeveen Working camp Stuifzand
Linde Working camp Linde
Mantinge Working camp Mantinge
Nieuweroord Working camp Geesbrug
Norg State working camp de Fledders
Oranjekanaal Working camp Oranjekanaal
Orvelte Working camp Orvelte
Ruinen Working camp Ruinen
Vledder Working camp Vledder
             
        

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