10th Dachau Contemporary Witness Discussion

The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site invites all those interested to attend the 10th Dachau contemporary witness discussion; our guest on this occasion is the Dutch survivor Ernst Sillem.


Ernst Sillem, born on July 14, 1923 in the Netherlands, enjoys a happy childhood and youth. He is still a school pupil as the German Army attacks neutral Holland on May 10, 1940. After completing his schooling in 1941 he plans to join the British Army and take part in the war against the Germans. In August 1942, together with a friend, he tries to reach England by sea. Unfortunately the weather turns poor and they are picked up in their tiny boat by a German crew and arrested.


Ernst Sillem is categorized as a ‘night-and-fog’ prisoner and is first sent to the concentration camps of Amersfoort and Vught in Holland, then the Natzweiler camp in France, and finally to the Dachau subcamp of Allach. He is liberated at the end of April 1945 while in the sick bay of the main Dachau camp. Following liberation he immigrates to Morocco where he grows a citrus plantation. In 1975 he moves to France where he lives today.

The talk begins at 7 pm in the Visitor’s Center; admission is free of charge.