Refugee Homes in NL

As far as I know this is the first comprehensive list of all the facilities where refugee children were housed. The list is complete to the best of my knowledge, even over-complete, as I have chosen to include some facilities that were not especially for refugee children. If you have more information about any of these places, please contact me, I would welcome any additions to this overview.

Rotterdam, Westersingel

by Miriam Keesing

Address:  Westersingel 60, Rotterdam

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In April 1940 all the boys from the Achterklooster in Rotterdam moved here, plus many boys who had lived in the Dommelhuis in Eindhoven, which was closed down.

Later that year, in September/October, most of the boys moved to Arnhem, where the so called “jongenshuis” (boys house, even though there were also some girls there) was the last of the homes for refugee children.

The building does not exist anymore.

Arno Rosenfeld remembers:

“Then I went to Rotterdam, to the Westersingel. It was one of these beautiful old herrenhauser, mansions, villas, 19th century. I liked it there, I liked Rotterdam, an interesting city. We were not far from the Booymans museum, in the back across the plaza was Unilever. I was very happy in Rotterdam, in that home. I took over watches at night I would stay up because it was threatening already so we had to take turns in being alert. I don’t know how many boys there were, around 75 I would say. I forgot how the sleeping arrangements were. I thought it was an improvement over the Dommelhuis. During the day I did not do anything special. We had to take turns in cleaning the house and keeping things in order. But there was no organized activity”. (60)


60. Interview Arno Rosenfeld, May 8, 2011