Repatriation Camp

In the meantime those former prisoners too weak or too ill to be sent home remained in the camp. Not just prisoners of the former PDA but also returning prisoners from various German camps were temporarily housed in the camp that now was named Repatriation Camp and also had this function. Co-operators of the Dutch Red Cross remained in the camp during this period, as well as Frans van den Berg, the cook, and his family. The prisoners were looked after in huts and in other locations (like the house in Balistraat) till the time they were able to travel home. During this period the camp was sometimes called the Red Cross Camp. The gate leading to the former prisoners camp now was decorated to welcome the repatriated persons.

Arrest and Residence Camp 

In the liberated parts of The Netherlands the Militair Gezag (MG, Military Authority) had to execute the legislation (Herstelwetgeving). The formation of the Politieke Opsporingsdienst (POD, Political Tracing Service) was a result of this legislation. From February 1945 untill March 1946 tracing and arrestation were the tasks of the POD. On March 1st 1946 the Militair Gezag was disbanded and these tasks were handed over to justice. To the Politieke Recherche Afdelingen (PRA’s, Political Investigation Departments) to be precise, who were in close cooperation with the Dienst Identificatie en Berging (DIB). Already in spring of 1945 the Dutch government in London was faced with the question of what to do with collaborators. Anyone who had worked together with the occupant would have to face justice, was the decision. That is why war criminals, together with suspected persons, so called ‘wrong Dutchmen’, persons suspected of helping the enemy, were locked up in the camp.

Collaborators were officially housed in the camp from September 1st 1945 till September 1st 1946 but in reality collaborators were brought in before September. In this period in time the official name of the camp was Bewarings – en Verblijfkamp Laan 1914 (Arrest and Residence Camp Laan 1914) but it was called the Red Cross Camp  or the Internment Camp mostly. The treatment of the people in the camp was decidedly too strict in hindsight, maybe as a reaction to the suffering of a large part of the Dutch population during the war.

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