While concentration camps and ghettos were the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, other types of camps existed in the occupied countries which were part of the machinery of the Third Reich and took on the complexion of its antisemitic and racial policies.Transit camps existed as way stations on the road to major concentration camps or extermination centers. Prisoners were detained briefly prior to deportation to such places as Auschwitz, Sobibor, or Dachau. Transit camps were overcrowded, and sanitary and health facilities often dismal. While the major concentration camps were under the control of the SS, transit camps were often run by police in regimes collaborating with the Nazis. Drancy, for example, located in the Paris suburbs, became an internment center for Jews in the summer of 1941. Transports to Auschwitz commenced in June 1942. Nearly 65,000 Jews were deported, fully 1/3 of them French citizens, the rest foreign-born Jews who had moved to France.
Westerbork was a transit camp in the Netherlands, and Jews interned here—including Anne Frank and her family, and Etty Hillesum-were eventually deported in successive waves to the major extermination camps: Sobibor, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen. Almost 100,000 Jews lost their lives passing through Westerbork. Another camp in occupied Netherlands was Vught or s'Hertogenbosch. Vught was an official SS concentration camp as well as a transit camp. One section held Jewish prisoners before they were transferred to Westerbork, and from there to extermination camps. In June 1943, hundreds of Jewish children were sent to the Sobibor extermination camp.
--Michael D. Bulmash, K1966
Browse the Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection.
Front: White postcard with printed green postcard lines, typewritten addresses, and a black hand stamp.Back: Words both typewritten and in pencil.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A postal card from a Jewish family (Levy) postmarked 10 December, 1942, thanking the addressee for the package they sent.
French Internment Camp Drancy Rare Postcard from H. Barouh in Paris to Leon Barouh in Drancy Internment Camp
Postcard marked "CARTE POSTALE" in red print in top center, red stamp of man in top right corner, purple stamped in left corner, print in red, writing in blue on front and back.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Postcard with double ring cachet as arrival on French postcard with Petain stamp. Mr. Leon Barouh was born in Varna, Bulgaria in 1902. His permanent place of residence was in France. He was married to Judith Bensignor and they had two children, Sam and Jacques. Mr. Barouh was deported from Drancy on December 17, 1943, one of 848 men, women, and children on Convoy 63 to Auschwitz, where he perished.
Front: Tan postcard with green printed postcard lines and stamp. Includes writing in black ink and black hand stamps.Back: Message written in black ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Postcard from Westerbork, a transit camp in the Netherlands from which Jews were typically deported to death camps such as Auschwitz. Among the many prisoners who passed through this camp were Anne Frank and Etty Hillesum, both diarists who were eventually deported to Auschwitz.
Off-white envelope with purple Bureau de la Censure in upper lefthand corner and black writing. Includes a pasted stamp of a man in profile facing left. Sent locally within Paris from the Drancy Internment Camp.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Cover sent locally within Paris, franked 1.50f violet triple ring cachet "CAMP D'INTERNMENT DE DRANCY."
Tan paper with printed black text and a purple circular hand stamp in upper lefthand corner.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Unused food package card with violet triple ring cachet "CAMP D'INTERNMENT DE DRANCY." Drancy was a high-rise apartment complex in the northeast suburb of Paris in the 1930’s before the Nazis confiscated it and utilized it a an internment camp to hold Jews and other “undesirables” who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children. The Vichy government under Petain and Laval cooperated with Nazi Germany, hunting down foreign and French Jews and turning them over to the Gestapo for transport to the Third Reich's extermination camps. Drancy was under the control of the French police until 1943 when administration was taken over by SS and officer Alois Brunner. With his arrival came the need to increase deportations to Auschwitz. Drancy at its peak held more than 7,000 prisoners. The brutality of the French guards in Drancy and the harsh conditions imposed on the inmates is well known. For example, upon their arrival, small children were immediately separated from their parents for deportation to the death camps. The On 6 April 1944, SS First Lieutenant Klaus Barbie raided a children's home in Izieu, France, where Jewish children had been hidden. Barbie arrested everyone present, all 44 children and 7 adult staff members. The next day, the Gestapo transported the arrestees to Drancy. From there, all the children and staff were deported to Auschwitz. None of them survived.
Front: A black and white photograph of high-rise apartments with white text in French.Back: Black printed postcard lines.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Drancy was a 1930's high-rise apartment complex in the northeast suburb of Paris before the Nazis confiscated it and utilized it as an internment camp to hold Jews and other 'undesirables' who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered, including 6,000 children. The Vichy government under Petain and Laval cooperated with Nazi Germany, hunting down foreign and French Jews and turning them over to the Gestapo for transport to the Third Reich's extermination centers.