At the end of 1940, the Luftwaffe confiscated about thirty hectares of woodland between Gilze and Chaam, with the intention of constructing a large, luxurious army camp. The entire complex was completed by the end of 1941. The camp consisted of about fifty buildings from where the soldiers were transported to Gilze-Rijen air base in a small train. From the air the camp looked like a village, so there was less chance of it being bombed by enemy aircraft. The Germans built offices, garages, bath houses, store rooms, canteens, a bowling alley, a prison and a munition store. The complex was virtually undamaged when liberation came on 27 October 1944. It is now in use as an Asylum Seekers’ Centre.
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