Fort Breendonk was originally built for the Belgian army between 1906-13 as part of the second ring of defenses of the National Redoubt protecting the important port-city of Antwerp.It was covered by a five-metre thick layer of soil for defense against bombings, a water-filled moat and measured 656 by 984 feet (200 by 300 m).
By 1940, Breendonk was already militarily obsolete and was unnecessary for the German occupiers. Soon after the start of the German occupation, the Nazis transformed it into a prison camp which was controlled by SS and other security agencies of Nazi Germany (SIPO and SD in particular) although Belgium itself was under military jurisdiction and controlled by general Alexander von Falkenhausen
During World War II, the fort was requisitioned by the Germans as a prison camp for detaining Belgian political dissidents, captured resistance members and Jews. Although technically a prison rather than a concentration camp, the…
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