In Mechelen there is a military camp from the 1800s called Dossin kaserne. Between 1942 and 1944, the Germans used the barracks as a collection camp (german sammellager) for, mostly, Belgian jews who were to be deported to some ghetto or extermination camp in eastern Europe. The strategic location between Brussels and Antwerp and the proximity of the Breendonk fort prison made the location suitable. From the barracks it was smooth to deport Jews from Brussels and Antwerp and it’s surroundings. The first Jewish transport departed on 4 August 1942 to Auschwitz and the last on 31 july 1944. The last one, however, was liberated by allied units before it reached its destination. A total of 24,916 Jews and 351 gypsies were deported.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2009).

Address: Goswin de Stassartstraat 153, 2800 Mechelen.

Get there: Bus from central Mechelen.

My comment:

The Geographical location of the museum between Brussels and Antwerp makes it very well attended by Belgian school classes. It get’s easily crowded inside when students attend the museum. This is not unique to this particular museum, but is also common at several other museums. Therefore, I recommend if you have the time and opportunity to plan the visit on a weekend or closer to closing time to avoid the crowd.

Follow up in books: Rees, Laurence: Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution (2005).