Exactly 80 years ago, on June 5, 1943, 1,250 Jewish children were deported from the Vught camp to the Westerbork camp within the Netherlands, and from there they were deported to the Sobibor (Polish: Sobibór) extermination camp on June 8. There, the SS murdered the 3,017 people in this transport – Jewish children, women and men – in the gas chambers immediately after their arrival on 11 June. The children were under sixteen years old. Anne Frank also wrote in her diary about the deportation trains from the Netherlands to Sobibor.
In total, up to 250,000 Jews were murdered by members of the SS in Sobibor. The exact number of victims is unknown. The majority of them came from the General Government, but also from Austria, Bohemia and Moravia, Slovakia, the Soviet Union, France and the Netherlands.
To commemorate the victims who were murdered in the Sobibor extermination camp, a memorial has stood at the historic site since 1965. In 1993, a museum was added to the memorial site. In 2020, a new, modern permanent exhibition was opened while the site is being redesigned. Dutch associations are also taking part in the commemoration there.
Photo credit: Sobibor, undated, station area of the former extermination camp, Ronnie Golz