Memorial National du Fort de Breendonk - National Memorial of Fort Breendonk. Folder containing 10 real photo postcards from Breendonk camp, photos by: Photo J. Droesbeke. On the back of the postcards a description in French and Dutch about Breendonk camp - the years it operated under the Nazis and the number of victims there. [France, 1940s].
Postcards: Entrance gate to the camp, prisoner wooden bunks, camp courtroom, torture chamber, gallows, roll call yard, general view of the camp, main corridor, prisoner cell with markings made by prisoners on the wall, memorial room in the camp.
Breendonk previously served as a fortified military base of the Belgian army between the cities of Antwerp and Brussels in Belgium. During the German occupation of Belgium in World War II it served as an internment camp, where Jews from the Belgian community were also imprisoned. On September 20, 1940 the first prisoners arrived at the fort. Belgian communists, resistance members, hostages captured by the Germans, Jews from the Belgian community and also criminal offenders were imprisoned there. In the first year of the camp's existence, Jews were about half the prisoner population. They were held separately from the other prisoners. Among others, Rabbi Shlomo Ullman, Chief Rabbi of the Belgian Jewish community, and heads of the Belgian Jewish association were imprisoned in the fort. Prisoners were held in the fort for an average of about three months before being sent to concentration camps in Germany, Austria and Poland. Prisoners suffered from harsh living conditions, starvation, denial of medical treatment and cruel treatment by camp staff, and were forced into labor; the Germans also conducted interrogations, torture and hangings in the fort. Various political prisoners were interrogated under severe torture in the camp. The first German commander of the fort, Philipp Schmitt, was tried in Belgium in 1949, convicted, sentenced to death and executed in 1950.
Postcards: 9x14 cm. Light stains on cover. Good condition.