Well-known Katwijker Lies van Beelen is looking for information about the labor camp near Nijverdal. ‘I hope this will bring a piece of forgotten history out of obscurity and capture it.’
In the vicinity of Nijverdal, during the Second World War, there was a labor camp of the National Office for Work Expansion, which was intended to put unemployed men to work. Construction of the camp was started on Paltheweg in 1940. In 1941 the first workers arrived in the camp, 96 unemployed fishermen and merchantmen from Katwijk and Scheveningen were commissioned to establish a tree nursery, which bore the name De Plantage. Staatsbosbeheer supervised the project.
In April 1942 the German occupier used the camp as a link in the “Final Solution of the Judenfrage” and the unemployed seamen had to make way for Jewish men. On October 2, 1942 (Yom Kippur) these Jewish men were deported to Westerbork. From there they were sent to Eastern European extermination camps, where almost all of them died.
Between 1943 and 1945, camp Twilhaar housed large families who had been expelled from their home in the coastal region by the Germans as part of the construction of the Atlantic Wall. Families from Katwijk were also present, including that of Mrs Dirkje Vlieland-Haasnoot.
Camp Twilhaar was demolished in 1949.
There were more than 50 of these camps, mainly in the east and south of our country. Also in camp America, in the Limburg Peel, were Katwijkers including Arie van Beelen.
Who can tell us more about these camps and the Katwijkers who were there? You can send an email to [email protected] We will then ensure that the information reaches Lies van Beelen.