During the Second World War the Nazis murdered almost 6 million Jews in what is called the ‘Holocaust’ or ‘Shoah’. 5 million others were also killed because of their background, or their religious or sexual orientation. The majority died in mass executions and in special extermination centres, or due to exhaustion in concentration camps. More than 25,000 Jews and several hundred Roma and Sinti `were deported from Dossin Barracks in Mechelen to the camps. Only 1395 survived.
Civilians who were against the German occupation were also deported. In Belgium 16,000 of the total 40,500 recognised political prisoners were sent to concentration camps, where another approximately 6,000 to 7,000 died. Breendonk was the most important transit camp on Belgian soil.
In 1945 the liberation of the camps brought with it the discovery of the Nazi atrocities, which sent a shock wave through all of Europe.
75th Pilgrimage to Breendonk
A remembrance ceremony for the 3,600 Resistance members as well as those who remained in the Breendonk transit camp. The last survivors will also be present.
Willebroek – War Heritage Institute – Fort Breendonk site
Voices from the Camps
The War Heritage Institute website with filmed testimonies by Belgians who survived concentration camps.
Online from October 2019
An exhibition about the fate of the 25,274 Jews and 354 Roma and Sinti who were transported from Mechelen to the Auschwitz extermination camp.
From 25/10/2019 to 30/05/2020
Mechelen – Dossin Barracks
Résistance et libération des camps
A seminar (in French) on the resistance and insurrection movements within the camps, the liberation of the camps, and the discovery of the reality in the Nazi concentration and extermination camps. The seminar is open to all who are interested. In the context of the International Day of Remembrance of the Shoah.
Train of 1000
1000 young people will be travelling by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau to commemorate the end of the Second World War on 8 May 2020. A commemorative project by the War Heritage Institute.
05/05 – 10/05/2020
Brussels – Auschwitz