Erweitertes Polizeigefängnis Amersfoort

The Camp had much expanded during the time of its closure. Among others because it was expected that the inflow of prisoners would increase as a result of the Arbeitseinsatz (compulsory work in Germany). The name Erweitertes Polizeigefängnis Amersfoort meant that the camp now was the responsibility of the local police authorities. Even though the camp had grown, the organisation of the camp had not improved. Compared to the ‘official’ German camps the PDA remained in disorder. The largest rebuildings were finished but improvements were being made in order to keep the logistics and administration up to the standard.

Over 13,240 prisoners of the total of 26,700 prisoners that were in the camp in the second period were still sent to Germany to work for the Arbeitseinsatz. Over 3,150 political prisoners were deported from the camp to a concentration camp and about 9,230 prisoners were eventually freed, in most cases. The increase of the number of prisoners led also to an increase of the amount of camp – SS men. Now Dutch SS – men were allowed to joint he camp – SS, as opposed to the first period. The new Lagerführer of the camp, Karl Peter Berg, did not have a Schutzhaftlagerführer. On paper this position was not filled in but in practise this position was taken by Johann Joseph Kotälla.

Together with the growth of the number of prisoners the amount of administrative work also increased. For the prisoners this created opportunities, they were employed in the administrative departments Abteilung III and the Schreibstube. New work for the finance department arose when canteen money and the NSF – Kommando were introduced. In a separate hut work was being done by the NSF – Kommando for the Nederlandse Seintoestellenfabriek (NSF, a company that manufactured radios) in Hilversum. This hut was a privileged place.

Because after the reopening of the camp labour for the expansion was no longer needed it was not uncommon for hundreds of prisoners to be out of work. They formed a nameless group that had to perform drills in the camp, for day after day, in all kinds of weather, from sunrise to sunset. Every man that formed part of this Kommano tried his utmost to get out of it again. Because there was not enough work to be done in the camp for the prisoners, work had to be created outside the camp. To companies and institutions that could use cheap work force prisoners were hired out. Several working parties performed labour in Amersfoort and surroundings, like at AMAF, KELA and the municipal gasworks, or further away, at Soesterberg airport, Deelen airport, in Sint Michielsgestel and Haaren, In Leeuwarden and at the IJssellinie (defence line). When prisoners were deployed far away from Amersfoort they were called ‘Abkommandiert’. In the first period of the PDA this was unheard of, in the second period it was a necessity. Probably the earnings on the side for the camp – SS played a role, too.

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