Camp Tibor and Sites of Slave Labour (at Dannes)


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One of the most important testimonies to the Camp at Dannes has been recorded by David Shentow's, now living in Canada.
'On entering our train, we had to hand our identity cards to one of the German soldiers. We arrived the same day, at 8:00 p.m., at the Dannes-Camiers railroad station. After leaving the train we were force-marched along a country road leading to Lager Tibor. The sun was setting on a very hot August evening. Promptly upon our descent from the train, our guards hurried us a long and unlit country road past a village named Condette. The work camp consisted of a number of wooden barracks. Once inside our building, we were assigned to one of the double bunk-beds. We were allowed to keep our suitcases and our travel clothing. We were told that we could use our money to purchase food from the guards. We slept in the same clothes in double-bunk beds. No work clothes or uniforms were distributed to the prisoners. Other than running water from an outdoor installation, there were no laundry facilities or showers. Outdoor latrines were inside the camp.

The next morning we were assigned to building concrete pill-boxes, installing barbed-wire fences, and constructing concrete sea-wall defences. We were given to understand that all this work was needed in case of an Allied invasion of Europe. The place where I was engaged in slave labour was located in Boulogne-sur-Mer, some 18 km. away from Camp Tibor. We had to walk there and back in all kinds of weather... Another assignment involved the construction of a cement highway to be used by heavily armoured vehicles and tanks in preparation for Hitler's planned invasion of Great Britain.

...In France some people died, but they were buried - there was funeral and outside of the camp there was a little cemetery. They died may be not from old age, may be from beatings, one or two perhaps, no more than half a dozen in three months. [Notes: 15 Jewish prisoners died in the Nord Pas de Calais camps in the first three months of their labour, there are 6 Jewish graves at the Camp at Dannes]... A few weeks later, we learned that Hitler had decided not to invade England at this time. Instead, he had planned to invade the Soviet Union... Our work camp was to be closed, and we were to be sent back to Belgium...We received from our guards a loaf of bread and a bit of jam. I was disturbed to hear that these meagre rations were to last us for four days. I prepared my suitcase and joined the other prisoners in our return march to the railway station at Dannes-Camiers where guards herded us on a passenger train headed for the Caserne Dossin at Malines.

Once our train had come to rest in the area in front of the Caserne, I saw another passenger train being attached to the one in which we had been traveling. Through the windows I could see that the passengers were composed of elderly men and women, young women, and mothers with babies and small children. [David was deported on transport XVI 31.10.42]. Suddenly the train began to move, and we began to see the Belgian countryside disappear behind us as we travelled eastward. The train continued, non-stop, for four days and four nights. As we passed through Germany into Poland, we could see the names of important cities in the various train stations along our route.

Finally the train slowed down and came to a complete halt. It was 4:00 p.m. The sign in the train station read Auschwitz.

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