Paulina Robbins van Rijn represented the 11 churches of the Diocese in Europe in Belgium at a memorial event on 9th September to mark the 70 years since many Jews were assembled and deported from the Caserne Dossin.
The Union of the deported Jews of Belgium - sons and daughters of the deported – joined HRH Prince Philippe of Belgium, Elio di Rupo, Prime minister and M. Didier Renders, Vice-Prime minister and several representatives of the Belgian government at the ceremony.
The Mechelen transit camp, officially SS-Sammellager Mecheln in German, was a detention and deportation camp established in the Dossin during the Nazi occupation of Belgium. The transit camp was run by the SiPo-SD, a branch of the SS-Reichssicherheitshauptamt to collect and deport Jews and other minorities such as Roma mainly out of Belgium towards the labour camp of Heydebreck-Cosel and the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland.
During the Second World War, between 4 August 1942 and 31 July 1944, 28 trains left from this Belgian casern and deported over 25,000 Jews and Romas, most of whom arrived at the extermination camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the end of war just 1240 of them survived.
Pictured below:- Prince Philippe of Belgium at the ceremony