Hell of Ellecom

Landgoed Avegoor has it all: idyllic, comfortable, luxurious. And yet, in 1941, it did not meet the demands of Hauptsturmführer Brendel. He was in charge of the school, which can be called the cradle of the Dutch SS. Under inhuman conditions, young Jewish men were forced to build the extensions.

In 1941, on this old estate north-east of Arnhem, was founded a 'school of evil': the ' Avegoor SS School'. For the 139 Jews who had to labour here for months under horrifying conditions, this was the 'Hell of Ellecom'.

The Avegoor estate dates from 1356. The mansion was built in 1847. The school for the Dutch branch of the SS was founded on May 1 1941. From October of that year it was in the hands of Hauptsturmführer Alfons Brendel, former commander of the SS-Wachbataillon Nordwest. The 29 year old Brendel was from Beieren, and before the war had studied history and philosophy. He had also been sport instructor for the SS. He put al lot of emphasis on a paramilitary training for the Dutch volunteers, groups of whom spent periods of several weeks in the SS training institute. They were given weapons training, and ideological education. They also learned how they were supposed to treat the 139 Jews brought to Ellecom from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, who were according to Nazi ideology 'non-arian'.

Zutphensestraatweg 2, Ellecom (entree Landgoed Avegoor)