Christmas tree

In the Weteringschans prison in Amsterdam, Carel Steensma made a Christmas tree out of the cardboard used for blacking out the window. The strips were cut with a fork that had been sharpened on the floor. The snow is made from a bandage wrapped around a gunshot wound, the decorations from the silver foil of medicinal powders. During the day the tree was kept hidden. On Christmas Eve 1941, carols were sung round the tree. The prisoners from all the other cells soon joined in. Back to highlights

Almost 20,000 Dutch people were arrested because of their work with the resistance. Two thousand resistance fighters were executed. Others were sent to detention centres or to concentration camps.

In the Netherlands there were camps in Schoorl, Amersfoort, Ommen and Vught. Most Dutch prisoners ended up in the German camps at Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Neuengamme, Sachsenhausen or Dachau. Female prisoners were sent to Ravensbrück.

Brutal imprisonment
German imprisonment was brutal. Solitary confinement, beatings and malnutrition were part of the daily routine. Several thousand Dutch resistance fighters did not survive their imprisonment.