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In 1939 the Dutch government erected a refugeecamp in the province Drenthe. The camp is located in Hooghalen, ten kilometer North of the village Westerbork. In Kamp Westerbork german Jews were housed that tried to escape the nazi terror in their homestead. During World War II the Nazis used the available facilities and turned it into a deportation camp for Jews, Gypsies and people of the Resistance.

Every tuesday a cargo train used to leave to go East to the concentration camps in Nazi Germany. In the period from 1942 till 1945 a total of 107,000 people passed through the camp. Only 5,000 of them survived.

Anne Frank and her family were put on the very last train on September 2, 1944 for Auschwitz. Three days later they arrived.

The Canadians liberated the camp April 12, 1945. Just a few hundred inhabitants were left. Subsequent to its use in the 2nd World War, the Westerbork camp was used to house Indonesian refugees.

In 1969 the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) was installed on the same site, between the villages of Westerbork and Hooghalen. On the site there is now a museum and several memorials to those transported during the 2nd World War.