Picked up because you are listening to the radio or because you are drawing a cartoon. Months or even years in prison with no apparent charge. During the Second World War this happened to thousands of people. Imprisoned for acts that the German occupier saw as violations.
In the Oranjehotel, the honorary name for the Scheveningen prison, more than 25,000 people were locked up. Often because they resisted. Or for an economic offense, such as black trade. But also because they were Jewish or communist.
Known among the prisoners are “the Soldier of Orange” Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, Leiden professor Rudolph Cleveringa, freedom activist and writer Anton de Kom and resistance fighters Corrie ten Boom and George Maduro. Along with many other lesser known prisoners.
For many of them, the Oranjehotel was the starting point of a long journey through German prisons and concentration camps. This was the end point for more than 250 prisoners: they were executed on the nearby Waalsdorpvlakte.
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