The Blue Skies Project | Herzogenbusch

Herzogenbusch (aka "Vught") became known as one of the few main concentration camps outside the Reich territory. It was under direct supervision of the Berlin offices of the SS-Business Administration Main Office (WVHA) and was made up of six independent sections for different kinds of prisoners. It came into being because the SS had concerns about the tempo and effectiveness of the deportation of Jews through Westerbork.

About 30,000 people were imprisoned in Herzogenbusch. About 60% were released, the others were transported to different concentration camps in Germany (mostly Sobibór and Auschwitz). 

It was of great political importance for Himmler to make Herzogenbusch a "perfect camp", in order to win over the Dutch, and to set straight the extremely negative record of the already existing Amersfoort extended police camp. 

source: USHMM Encyclopedia of camps and ghettos, 1933-1945; Indiana Press


Herzogenbusch is part of a series of journeys that I'm undertaking to photograph the blue skies precisely above the (last known) location of every single one of the 1,075 concentration camps that have ever existed, as part of an photography/book/installation project called The Blue Skies Project. The project has proven quite immense and almost impossible to hold on to single-handedly – with staggering logistics to match – but I'm hanging in there.