Paesi Bassi / Museo
Camp Vught, the former Konzentrationslager Herzogenbusch, was the only SS concentration camp outside Nazi Germany and the territory annexed by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. The camp held nearly 32,000 people between January 1943 and September 1944. For many prisoners, Vught was a way station to other camps. For some 12,000 Jewish prisoners, Vught was a gateway to the extermination camps in occupied Poland.
In the permanent exhibition 'Camp Vught: seven seasons and 32,000 stories', visitors can explore the history of the Camp through personal stories and objects relating to people from up to 36 different nationalities. Special attention is paid to the roles people were forced, or not, to assume: that of victim, perpetrator, bystander and helper.
Outside, there are reconstructions and a stone model showing all the Camp's buildings at that time. The reconstructed barracks show how prisoners lived in Camp Vught, and covers half the original size: a sleeping area with 240 bunk beds, a living area, a toilet and washroom. Every hundred metres there was a watchtower with guards wielding machine guns and floodlights.
At the edge of the compound is the children's memorial on which are written the names of the children murdered in Sobibor extermination camp, located in occupied Poland in June 1943. Research shows that at least 1,296 children were involved, and were gassed, along with one or both parents, after their arrival, making a total of 3,014 people killed.
Digital card index
By entering their own data (age, gender and province), visitors can 'meet' a prisoner with a similar background, meanwhile on the wall, the dates, numbers and types of prisoners are projected continuously. Thus, the number of 32,000 prisoners gives way to 32,000 stories: people like you and me. This section is further complemented by dates, biographies and photos of prisoners.
Finally, visitors enter the here and now, in a space with several short films. First, some 'third-generation' portraits: how does the war live on in families? After this, three semicircles invite visitors to watch the other films quietly, with iconic photos of brave people as well as portraits of everyday people faced with different choices. The last film shows three fictional scenes, in which the characters are victims, perpetrators or bystanders - or are they?