From 1st December 2002 this site will maintainedby volunteers of the Documentatiegroep '40-'45
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This site is made possible by volunteers and their personal contributions. Financial support is also provided by Foundation 1940-1945in the Netherlands.

Please note that the site webmaster passed away August 17, 2002.

John van Gurp - August 21, 2002

Alexander van Gurp
April 10, 1924 - August 17, 2002 



Recent updates:


July 10, '99


Mar.4, '02


Jan.30, '02

Literature /Links

July 5, '02

Missing Persons

Nov 2, '02


Oct.25, '98

A Letter to Susan

Dec.31, '98

War Graves

Dec.15, '98


June 25, '02

    Slave Laborers Monument - National War Museum, Overloon, The Netherlands
Forced Laborers Monument at the National War Museum in Overloon, The Netherlands
Photograph: Jan van der Vliet
More than 500,000 Dutch citizens were forced to work in Germany during WWII.
More than 30,000 perished through hunger, sickness, maltreatment and acts of war.



On February 28, 1941, the German Reichskommissar in Holland, Seyss-Inquart, proclaimed an ordinance concerning the "duty for the performance of services." This ordinance provided for the forced employment of Dutch citizens in Nazi-Germany and its occupied territories. The recruitment took place initially through regional Dutch government employment offices who possessed the means for enforcement, specifically in the case of unemployed persons.
For many years the plight of Dutch former forced laborers was not recognized by the public at large, nor by the Dutch government. Official recognition came on May 29, 1996, with the unveiling of the Dwangarbeidersmonument (Forced Laborers Monument) which is located in the National War Museum in Overloon, The Netherlands.
 At this website you will find information about the forced-labor policies and practices in Nazi-Germany during the Second World War.
We trust that you will find the information both interesting and useful.


If you wish to read all the information contained in this website, click on the different headings listed in the bottom panel of this page. A Dutch version of this homepage is available by clicking on Nederlands or on the flag at the top of this page. It should be noted that the Dutch and English editions are not always identical in every respect. Comprehensive articles on Arbeitseinsatz and one on Arbeitserziehungslager are only available in English, as is the page A Letter to Susan.
The national-socialist Ausländer-Einsatz (deployment of foreigners) between 1939 and 1945 represents the largest mass utilization of forced labor in history since the end of slavery during the 19th century. More than 10 million forced laborers were deported to Germany and occupied territories between 1939 and 1945. Among these were more than 500,000 Dutch citizens of which, based on Red Cross estimates, 30,000 perished in Germany. An unknown number returned with permanent physical en psychological scars. Reports show that in August 1944, 7.8 million foreign workers and prisoners of war were involved in the Arbeitseinsatz (labor deployment) in Germany and, in addition to these, approximately 500,000 mostly foreign concentration camp inmates. As a result some 30 percent of the white-color workers and laborers in the entire German economy were foreigners who had been brought into the country mostly by force. From a historical perspective the Arbeitseinsatz-page on this website should be considered both unique and authoritative. Unique because we believe it to be the only one on the subject matter available on the internet. Authoritative because the contributions have been written by such renowned authorities as Prof. Dr. Ulrich Herbert of Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany and the late Dr. Detlef Korte.
Arbeitserziehungslager (Workers Educational Camps.) The worst lot to befall a forced laborer was to be sent to an Arbeitserziehungslager, sometimes called "concentration camps for forced laborers". In May 1944, Kaltenbrunner, head of security police in nazi-Germany said about Arbeitserziehungslager: "The working and living conditions for the inmates are generally worse than in a concentration camp." Articles on this subject can be found by clicking on Arbeitserziehungslager. From this page you may also access a Dutch translation of one of these articles.
A recent addition to this site is an illustrated page describing the work done by the War Graves Foundation in the Netherlands. Not only does the Foundation maintain the many graves of Dutch war victims in the Netherlands and indeed throughout the world, it also maintains an extensive register of names of war victims, including those whose final resting place is unknown. This is of particular interest to persons who are searching for missing relatives or friends. On the topic of missing persons, see also the relevant page on this website (see below.)
A Letter to Susan describes the experiences of a former forced laborer in a German factory and in labor and prison camps. It is a letter the author wrote to his daughter in 1983, based on memoirs which were recorded immediately after the war, assuring factual accuracy.
Addresses for assistance and information. You will find addresses of interest to specific groups of victims. The names and addresses of affiliated organizations in other countries are also listed.
Information about financial compensation under the terms of the "Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft" fund for persons who were forced laborers in Germany during the second world war can be found by clicking on compensation.
Requests for information on missing persons. Last, but by no means least, this website provides a critical service to family members, mostly children or grandchildren, and friends of missing or deceased former forced laborers. This service is available free of charge to former forced laborers, their families, friends and researchers, regardless of their place of residence and is not limited to Dutch citizens. The information is posted as it becomes available. Since important names of persons and places are highlighted, it is not necessary to peruse the entire contents of the page in order to recognize names. Also included is an alphabetical index of names of missing persons listed in the body of the page.  
Information about literature related to forced labor and links on the subject of WWII Forced Labor can be found by clicking on links or on literature.
Your comments, suggestions and requests for further information are welcome.
Webmaster: Peter Krans/Jan Ploeg
(Please report any problems you may encounter with this site)

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