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Does NIOD have information about Nazi camps and prisons?

NIOD has unique archival material from and about camps and prisons in the Netherlands and abroad. This material contains overviews and lists of names of (mainly Dutch) prisoners, although these data are usually far from complete. The original German camp or prison records were often deliberately destroyed by the Nazis, and so, only fragments have survived.

In recent years, historian Nikolaus Wachsmann has published two general overviews of camps and prisons under the Nazi regime: KL: een geschiedenis van de naziconcentratiekampen (Amsterdam 2015, a translation of KL: a history of the Nazi concentration camps) and Hitler’s Prisons: legal terror in Nazi Germany (New Haven [etc.] 2004). A book specifically about Dutch prisons during the German occupation is Ralf Futselaar’s Gevangenissen in oorlogstijd: 1940-1945 (‘Prisons in wartime: 1940-1945’ (Amsterdam 2015)). 

Camps in the Netherlands

Most of the archival material about camps in the Netherlands is stored at NIOD. The findings aids for the archives of Kamp Westerbork, Kamp Amersfoort, Kamp Vught, Kamp Ommen and Kamp Schoorl can be accessed via the website.

A general overview of the archives and collections relating to the camps of Amersfoort, Vught, Westerbork, Ommen and Schoorl during the German occupation can be accessed at Apart from the NIOD finding aids for these camps, the relevant finding aids of nine other archive institutions can also be consulted through this website.

Material about the hostage camps in Haaren and Sint Michielsgestel can be found in NIOD collection 250j, ‘Gijzelaarskampen’ (‘Hostage camps’).

The NIOD also has material on the Jewish ‘homes’ De Schaffelaar and De Biezen in Barneveld, for instance in collection 250b, ‘Gevangenissen in Nederland’ (‘Prisons in the Netherlands’), numbers 64 to 82, and in collection 101b, ‘Afdeling Kabinet van de Secretaris-Generaal’ (‘Cabinet Department of the Secretary General’), numbers 151 to 501. See also the question: Does NIOD have information about the persecution of the Jews?

Prisons in the Netherlands

We also have material on a number of prisons in the Netherlands. The best known among them are the ‘Oranjehotel’ in Scheveningen and the prisons at Wolvenplein and Gansstraat in Utrecht. For an overview of our archival material on these detention centres, see the finding aids for collection 250b, ‘Prisons in the Netherlands’.

The archives of prisons and houses of detention are usually kept in the respective provincial archives. For the archives of prisons and houses of detention in Amsterdam, for example, you can contact the archives of the province of North Holland (het Noord-Hollands Archief), which is located in Haarlem. However, many of the prison archives from the German occupation were destroyed at the end of the war. The North-Holland Archives therefore only have files on Amsterdam prisons insofar as it concerns prisoners who were sentenced under Dutch criminal law. 

Camps and prisons outside the Netherlands

NIOD also has material relating to concentration camps outside the Netherlands. Collection 250k (‘Concentratiekampen buiten Nederland’ (‘Concentration camps outside the Netherlands’)) contains a number of files on the camps of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Flossenburg, Groß-Rosen, Mauthausen, Mittelbau-Dora, Natzweiler, Neuengamme, Ravensbrück, Sachsenhausen, Sobibor, and Theresienstadt. Another relevant NIOD collection on camps and prisons outside the Netherlands is collection 250d, ‘Kampen en gevangenissen’ (‘Camps and prisons’). This collection contains thematically arranged material, including a large number of personal testimonies of former prisoners (particularly numbers 90 to 1219).

Jules Schelvis (1921-2016), a Holocaust survivor himself, donated his research material on the Sobibor extermination camp to NIOD: Collection 804, ‘Onderzoek - Vernietigingskamp Sobibor’ (‘Research - Sobibor extermination camp’). On the website, you can watch interviews with former prisoners of camp Sobibor.

The research archive on Theresienstadt of Dr H.G. Adler (1910-1981) was donated to NIOD in 1990: collection 250n, Adler, dr. H.G.

The archive of the ‘Afwikkelingsbureau Concentratiekampen (ABC, Concentration Camp Settlement Bureau’), NIOD collection 250m, contains many applications for extra food vouchers, clothing vouchers, and other types of support for prisoners who returned from foreign camps and prisons (numbers 61-110). In these applications, the returnees usually gave a brief account of the camps and/or prisons they had been in. The ABC archives also contain material on the search for missing persons. There are also documents about the search for missing persons in NIOD collection 250d ‘Kampen en gevangenissen’ (‘Camps and prisons’).

Other websites

Further information about the camps and prisons in the Netherlands can be found on the websites of Kamp Amersfoort, Kamp Vught, Kamp Westerbork Memorial Centre, Haaren memorial site, and the Oranjehotel Foundation. An informative website on the various Jewish work camps in the north and east of the Netherlands is At, you can search for war resources from the Second World War about individuals. 

On the Arolsen Archives website, you can search the digitised files of preserved German camp archives by name.

The collections of NIOD and many other institutions can be searched through and, two ‘digital signposts’ to war-related archives.

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