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Exhibition: 'Forced labour in the Amsterdamse Bos'

Jewish labour camps in and around Amsterdam 1941 - 1944

In the context of the 75th anniversary in 2020 of the Dutch Liberation, the Amsterdamse Bos presented the exhibition Forced Labour in the Amsterdamse Bos – Jewish labour camps in and around Amsterdam 1941 – 1944. The exhibition was held from September 2, 2021 until July 10, 2022 in the Boswinkel.

The Amsterdamse Bos was created and planted as part of an unemployment project in the 1930’s. Much less known is the fact that during World War II, the Bos had special labour camps  for Jewish men who were forced to work there. Their tragic history was now shared with a wide audience for the first time.

Book your visit (free)

Lion Tokkie, researcher

Diary of a labourer

Out of the shade

During World War II, in and around Amsterdam there were no less than 13 labour camps  specially for Jewish men who were forced to work there. Of these camps, 4 were in the Amsterdamse Bos and 1 at Schiphol-Oost (airport). They were a link in the persecution of the Jews by the German occupier, in which Dutch institutions also played a role. For many Jews the labour camps turned out to be a gateway for deportation to Auschwitz and Sobibor.

In the exhibition, the Amsterdamse Bos showed this lesser-known dark side of its history, through personal stories, photos, objects, documents and video images. There is a walking tour of locations where work was done, a podcast and specially designed artwork. There is an educational program for schools.


The exhibition can be seen from 24 March to 4 June 2023 in the Amsterdam City Archives, Vijzelstraat 32.



  • September 1: Opening exhibition for press and invited guests
  • September 2: Opening exhibition to the public
  • September 19: Literary caravan
  • October 3: Lecture afternoon history jewish labor camps
  • October 17: Literary caravan
  • November 14: NHM vertelt interview Esther Göbel with Ellen Santen, location: Jewish Cultural Quarter


  • May 15: Relatives' Day


Share memories?

Would you like to transfer photos, documents or other valuable material about Jewish labour camps in your possession to a museum or archive? Do you have a story related to this subject you would like to share?



The City of Amsterdam / the Amsterdamse Bos are organising this exhibition on the occasion of the Dutch Liberation’s 75th anniversary, in cooperation with several parties.


For press information contact:
Hinke Kappert, communications advisor Amsterdamse Bos, phone number 06 1014 9457, e-mail