Anne Frank’s Westerbork shed burns down

The shed in which Anne Frank and her sister Margot worked dismantling batteries at the Westerbork transit camp before being taken to Auschwitz has been destroyed by fire.

The shed, which has been used for storage on a farm in Veendam since 1957, was about to be dismantled and taken back to Westerbork to form part of the permanent exhibition there.
‘It was an extremely important piece of war heritage,’ said Dirk Mulder of the Westerbork memorial centre in the Telegraaf. ‘There are no more barracks at Westerbork, so this is a great loss.’
Anne and the rest of her family were in hiding on Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht, where she wrote her famous diaries. Their hiding place was betrayed and the family taken to Westerbork on September 3, 1944. Anne and Margot died of typhoid in Bergen-Belsen just weeks before the end of the war.
Building permit
The memorial centre had been in talks with the owner of the barracks for 15 to 20 years, the paper said. ‘He was aware of the historic value of the shed and did not want any money for it,’ said Mulder. ‘But he needed storage space and did not get a permit to build a replacement. He finally did get permission.’
Police will begin an investigation into the cause of the fire once absestos released in the blaze has been cleared up, the paper said.
Mulder said he was aware of one other barracks still in its original condition which is currently being used to house pigs.

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