The Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort (PDA)

The PDA was a small provisional camp instated by the SS because they wanted their own camp in The Netherlands. Caused by its isolation and the lack of control of its management the camp could become (in the period till 1943) a cruel, disorganized and self centered community. The SS was undisturbed in performing its own cruel rule. For the German leadership in The Netherlands the PDA was one of the ways in their systematic approach to break the resistance against the German oppression of The Netherlands. By taking out all people from the society that were not to their liking the Germans tried to get a grip on the population. Especially in the first period a large amount of people that could possibly play a role in the resistance were sent to the PDA.

The area consisted of two groups of huts divided by barbed wire. One group was meant for the camp management, the other was intended for the prisoners. In order to solve practical problems the camp was continuously enlarged and improved. The administrative and logistic procedures were meticuously recorded. Despite the fact that an important part of the administration was destroyed just prior to the liberation the remains gave witness to an elaborate registration.

In the course of 1942 the camp – SS of the PDA was replenished. Kamp Amsvorde, the camp for the SS guards next tot he PDA grew out to be an important location for the schooling of guards of the SS – Wachbatallion Nordwest. The camp – SS which until this time consisted of Auslanddeutsche (Germans not living in Germany) was replenished by Germans. Many of them were veterans from Germany.

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