Gemmeker: Commandant van kamp Westerbork

van Liempt, A. P. M., 2019, [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. 373 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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  • Adolph Petrus Maria van Liempt
Albert Gemmeker, the former commander of the transition camp for jews in the Netherlands, Camp Westerbork, was released in 1951 after serving a remarkably short prison sentence. He then returned to his hometown Düsseldorf already in 1951. He lived there as a free man for another 31 years, but still under the threat of a new prosecution, now in Germany. The investigations of the German authorities into his complicity in the killing of 80.000 jews, who were deported to the extermination camps during his rule in Westerbork, lasted about seventeen years, and ended when he was definitively discharged in 1976.

The investigations carried out by German authorities are disclosed in this dissertation: Gemmeker, Commander of Camp Westerbork, of Ad van Liempt. This dissertation contains much criticism about the quality of the work of the German investigators. It is remarkable, to put it mildly, that the former investigating judge, who interrogated Gemmeker twelve times, was convinced that Gemmeker should have been put on trial, but at the end of the day had no influence on the decision of the public prosecutor.

For some people Gemmeker had the image of a ‘correct’ commander, but this book destroys that view: he put people on the deportation train who refrained from lifting their cap when they crossed his path or had them deported as a reprisal for attempts of other inmates to flee the camp. He could be cold and relentless, striving to obey his superiors in the most extreme way. Gemmeker always insisted that he never knew about the fate of his victims in Poland. This dissertation proves that such a claim of innocence was nothing but a blatant lie.
Original languageDutch
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Award date9-May-2019
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-1591-8
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-1590-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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