Westerbok Concentration Camp is Liberated by the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division
The Westerbork camp had a "double life." While most inmates stayed in the camp for only short periods of time before being deported, there was also a "permanent" camp population of 2,000 people, mostly German Jews, Jewish council members, camp employees, and certain other categories of persons exempt from deportation. The Germans encouraged "normal" activities by this group, including metalwork, health services work, and cultural activities. A Jewish police unit kept order and assisted with the transports. In the end, however, most of the "permanent" inmates were also sent to the concentration camps and death camps.
In early April 1945, as Allied troops approached the camp, the Germans abandoned Westerbork. Westerbork was liberated on April 12, 1945, by Canadian forces who found 876 inmates there.
Anne Frank stayed in this hut from August until early September 1944, when she was taken to Auschwitz.
Anne Frank and her family were put on the first of the three final trains (the three final transports were most probably a reaction to the Allies' offensive) on September 2, 1944 for Auschwitz, arriving there three days later.
Etty Hillesum stayed in this camp from 30 July 1942 until 7 September 1943, when she and her family were put on the train to Auschwitz.
German film actress and cabaret singer Dora Gerson was interred at Westerbork with her family before being transferred to Auschwitz.
The Canadian 2nd Infantry Division liberated the several hundred inhabitants that were still there on April 12, 1945. The first soldiers to the camp were from the 8th Reconnaissance Regiment, followed by troops of the South Saskatchewan Regiment.