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Westerbork transit camp voucher, 25 cent note

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.825

Voucher, valued at 25 cents, distributed in Westerbork transit camp. While at the camp, inmates were compelled to work, and a special currency was issued to incentivize work output, but the money had no real monetary value outside the camp. Westerbork was established by the Dutch government in October 1939 for Jewish refugees who had crossed the border illegally following the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 1938. After Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940, the German authorities began using Westerbork as a transit camp, holding internees until they were deported to forced labor camps or killing centers in other countries. Westerbork was under the authority of a German commandant, Albert Gemmeker, but run and supplied by the Jewish Community. Deportations from Westerbork began in February 1941. Inmates could occasionally purchase small supplies from the camp canteen, but food was not available. The special currency was first distributed in 1944, and designed by Werner Löwenhardt, a Jewish artist who was imprisoned by the Germans in Westerbork from October 1942 until the camp was liberated in April 1945. The front design features a large chimney from the camp laundry and a street known as the Boulevard of Misery. The back design also features the chimney, in addition to a large, toothed spur gear. Both images support an illusion of an industrious camp as well as the hopelessness of inevitable deportation. This scrip is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.

issue:  1944 February 15-1945 April 12
issue: Westerbork (Concentration camp); Westerbork (Netherlands)
Exchange Media
Object Type
Scrip (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:30:45
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