Between 24 April 1945 and 1 December 1948, Camp Westerbork was used as an internment camp for members of the NSB, SS and others suspected of collaboration with the Nazis.
Internment Camp Westerbork (Interneringskamp Westerbork in Dutch) was one of the most peculiar camps. When the first ‘bad’ people came into the camp, 850 Jews still ‘lived’ in the camp. They were employed as guards for the interned.
This included the ten-year old Ed van Thijn. ‘I had to go into the woods with members of the NSB, to gather firewood. These people moved like ghosts – at least, to my recollection – and begged me for food. I did not yield to them. Although I had a stick, they could have easily overpowered me. They did not. I think I could have taken them. They were so weakened. They only had basic needs, haggard from hunger. It was a very absurd situation.’
At least 89 of the interned died in Westerbork within the first four months.