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birkenau, ghetto, hans vanderwerff, sion soeters, aktion reinhard, terezin, himmler, david irving, holocaust denial, holocaust lest we forget, jews, synagogue,
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Reserve kapitein - Captain in the Reserves Jacques Schol of the demobilized Dutch Army Reserves and former commandant of yet another refugee facility near Hoek van Holland, was appointed commandant of refugee camp Westerbork on 16 July 1940. He replaced mr. Syswarda who had held that position since the camp's inception. Schol was the first commandant in war time.
Captain Schol introduced new regulations for the German Jewish refugees. Security measures in the camp were tightened. Instead of local police officers, 15 members of the Royal Constabulary guarded the perimeters of the camp and accompenied the refugees from trips to the local hospital or to and from work outside the camp. Roll call was introduced twice a day, cycling was forbidden in the camp, incoming and outgoing letters were censored and refugees had to obtain a travel permit, every time they wished to leave camp for whatever reason.
Since the internees for the most part spoke German, new camp rules were written and introduced in the German language. Schol incorporated all refugees over the age of fourteen into work groups. Several of these work groups together were called a Dienstzweig - Service Branch. He appointed over each Dienstzweig a Dienstleiter - Branch Head. The Heads of Service were responsible for the proper and effective operation of the Service Branches. Since Schol was unaware of the intent of the Nazis to not only exterminate the Dutch Jews but also the German Jewish refugees, the measures he took unfortunately set the stage for a most regrettable situation later on. Namely, he appointed the Heads of Service for these work tasks from among the German Jews already interned at Westerbork.
Schol, who was anti-German, understood that a strict organisation of the camp was the best way to keep the Germans from taking over the camp. Although strict and organised, Schol was never cruel or violent towards the refugees. Several reports about his behaviour towards the Jewish population of refugee camp Westerbork were written. In August, 1941 a report was delivered to Seyss Inquarts Representative in the province of Drenthe stating, that Schol was too lenient and because of this attitude, the Jews felt too comfortable in the camp and advising him to replace Schol.
German influence increased in the beginning of 1942 and on July 1, 1942 the SS officially took over the camp. The refugee camp Westerbork officially became Transit camp Westerbork. Captain Schol remained in office until early January 1943, having served under two German SS commandants. The third commandant, Gemmeker, made sure he was removed from office. During the first two years of Nazi occupation, the German internees lived in a status quo. The camp as yet lacked barbed wire and refugees were not treated as prisoners, but that was soon to change.