The Prisoners of Breendonk: Personal Histories from a World War II Concentration Camp by James M. Deem

The Prisoners of Breendonk: Personal Histories from a World War II Concentration Camp by James M. Deem

Fort Breendonk was built in the early 1900s to protect Antwerp, Belgium, from possible German invasion. Damaged at the start of World War I, it fell into disrepair . . . until the Nazis took it over after their invasion of Belgium in 1940. Never designated an official concentration camp by the SS and instead labeled a “reception” camp where prisoners were held until they were either released or transported, Breendonk was no less brutal. About 3,600 prisoners were held there—just over half of them survived. As one prisoner put it, “I would prefer to spend nineteen months at Buchenwald than nineteen days at Breendonk.”

Source: Jewish Book Council

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