On Saterday 11 June 2011 there was again a theme day by Documentation Group '40-'45 This time we spent the morning visiting the Engineer Museum and in the afternoon there was a visit to the National Monument Camp Vught. Although the two looks totally different, there is some connection because the place of the Engineer Museum was part of Vught concentration camp. In the museum there are still items that refer to that period such like a model of the Vught concentration camp and an aerial photograph. On the former parade ground historic engineers material is shown. Also you can see the building of the camp commander, but it is not open for public.

One-man bunker made of cast steel. In the '30s these small bunkers were placed at military and  government buildings It was used for procection of a guard or security personal. Given the threats in the crisis years, they were also sold to individuals. Cast steel dome. Domes of this type were placed in among the IJssel Line, Maaslinie, Peel-Raamstelling and Grebbe line. The dome was placed on a concrete coating. About 700 were made. In WWII almost all of them were melted down for the German war industry. Designed for armor defense artillery including the battle of the Grebbe line.
One-man bunker made of cast steel. In the '30s these small bunkers were placed at military and  government buildings It was used for procection of a guard or security personal. Given the threats in the crisis years, they were also sold to individuals.

 

Cast steel dome. Domes of this type were placed in among the IJssel Line, Maaslinie, Peel-Raamstelling and Grebbe line. The dome was placed on a concrete coating. About 700 were made. In WWII almost all of them were melted down for the German war industry. Designed for armor defense artillery including the battle of the Grebbe line.
The afternoon was filled with a tour to the National Monument Camp Vught. In the war the Germans called it  Konzentrationslager Herzogenbusch. The Jews who ended up at Vught were mostly deported by train to the extermination camps. Many went to Auschwitz. on the redesigned camp site there is a children's memorial, bears the names and ages of 1,269 Jewish children who were deported with the so-called children's transports in June 1943. In 2010 the public commemoration of the children's transport was on June 6. Actually, the memorial is called the Monument for the deported Jewish children, but it soon became known as Children's Memorial. Also a barracks was reconstructed containing bunk beds with straw mattresses to give a good idea how the prisoners had to sleep. Yet it is only a reflection of reality, in which several people had to share a bed, very dirty and filthy, and the current peace and quiet when there was absolutely no. There was always yelling and punishments handed out. People who did anything that the Germans did not like were given 25 blows with a stick while they stood bent over the goat. Hans Rombouts had an impressive interview with the former camp prisoner Elisabeth Ottenbros. As a Jew she was in camp Vught. Thanks to the fact she worked at the Philipscommand she survived. Philips did everything she could to prevent that her Jewish employees were deported to the east. Within camp Vught she had a department where  radios and radio equipment were put together. Finally however Elisabeth Ottenbros was deported to Auschwitz. Miraculously she was the only one of her family who survived Auschwitz. In 1945 she had to join the death march to Ravensbrück concentrationcamp where she was liberated by the Russians finally. With great certainty she said that her life was indebted to Philips. I found this the most impressive part of this day.

Indrukwekkend was het interview dat Hans Rombouts afnam van voormalig kampgevangene Elisabeth Ottenbros. Zij heeft als Jodin in kamp Vught gezeten, maar overleefde dankzij het feit dat zij werkte bij het Philipscommando. Philips deed alle moeite de Joden die zij in dienst had te behoeden voor transport naar het oosten en had binnen het kamp Vught een afdeling waar radio's en radioapparatuur in elkaar werden gezet. Uiteindelijk werd Elisabeth Ottenbros toch gedeporteerd naar Auschwitz. Wonder boven wonder wist zij als enige van haar familie de verschrikkingen van Auschwitz te overleven. In 1945 moest zij meedoen aan de dodenmars naar concentratiekamp Ravensbrück, waar ze uiteindelijk door de Russen werd bevrijd. Met grote stelligheid verklaarde ze dat zij haar leven aan Philips te danken had. Dit vond ik het indrukwekkendste onderdeel van deze dag.
Finally, we visited the execution site, located further outside the former concentration camp. The execution site Vught is the shooting range of the former concentration camp Vught in the North Brabant town of Vught. It is about 15 minutes walk from the camp. At the execution site is a memorial with the names of the 329 men who were shot here. From several prisons resistance fighters were taken to Vught and shot there. The perpetrators were Dutch SS men, who usually guarded the towers. On 20 December 1947 on the execution site a memorial with the names was unveiled by Princess Juliana. The wooden cross that stands behind the memorial, has already been placed by people who live nearby. In 1995 and 1996, the memorial was defaced. The perpetrators are not found. The panels have now got a permanent place at Camp Vught National Monument. Following the graffiti an unknown person attached a poem on the gate at the execution site. Later the poem was cast in bronze and hangs at the entrance of the gate and is also published within the National Monument Camp Vught on the same site were the original plates are kept.