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What can you find on kamparchieven.nl?

Kamparchieven.nl enables you to find out quickly and easily where archives are kept in the Netherlands on the Amersfoort, Vught and Westerbork camps, and what exactly they contain. The highly diverse material ranges from camp administrative records, transport lists, prison registers and architectural drawings to diaries and letters. The site also includes photographs and drawings.

Kamparchieven.nl is still under development. It is intended to make archives on other camps, such as Schoorl and Ommen, available for digital consultation as well. The site will also include archives of prisons. Furthermore, the number of institutions taking part will be widened to include other bodies that keep archives on the camps.

Participant institutions

The following institutions are lending their support to kamparchieven.nl: War Aftercare Department of the Netherlands Red Cross, Eemland Archive, Midden-Drenthe Local Authority, National Monument Camp Amersfoort, National Monument Camp Vught, Memorial Centre Camp Westerbork, and the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD).

The project has been made possible by a grant from the War Victims and Remembrance of World War II Unit of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).

Search

There are different ways of carrying out a digital search in the camp archives: by camp, by participant institution, or by theme in all the archives at the same time. Examples of the themes are: categories of prisoners, organisation and administration of the camp, conditions in the camp. A total of ten clusters of themes have been selected, which are presented in the form of questions.

By the way, it is only possible to search among the descriptions of contents of the documents, not among the archival documents themselves. For reasons of privacy, it is not possible to conduct a digital search for data about persons either. However, it is possible to search for descriptions of archives which contain personal information. Via references to the institutions that manage the archives, you can obtain information about the conditions under which access to the material may be granted.

Why kamparchieven.nl?

Kamparchieven.nl has finally put an end to the uncertainty that has existed since 1945 regarding the contents and location of the archives dealing with the German prison camps that existed in the Netherlands during the Second World War. Immediately after Liberation, various large and small organisations devoted themselves to collecting documents in order to trace survivors and to compile information about the deceased.

At the end of 1946 the government decided to authorise the Netherlands Red Cross as the only body to continue the search for the wartime missing. Members of organisations who were not in agreement with this government decision took their material to what was then known as the State Institute for War Documentation (RIOD), the present NIOD. Thanks to the smooth cooperation between the NIOD and the War Aftercare Department of the Netherlands Red Cross, the division of the camp archives has never raised major problems for the providing of information to organisations that issue allowances and to private individuals.

However, it is not always clear to next of kin of missing persons, researchers and the general public where a particular camp archive is kept, also because there are other institutions as well that have camp archives under their supervision. As a result, anyone looking for information about a camp was often driven from pillar to post. Kamparchieven.nl puts an end once and for all to this unclear and awkward situation. Now that the camp archives of the Netherlands Red Cross, the NIOD and the collections of other institutions are accessible on the website, it is simple to search for the location of the camp archives and to find out exactly what they contain.