"Fort Breendonk was built in the early 1900s to protect Antwerp, Belgium, from possible German attack. Damaged at the start of World War I, it fell into despair... until the Nazis took it over after their invasion of Belgium in 1940. Never designated an official concentration camp by the SS and instead labeled a "reception" camp where prisoners were held until they were either released or transported, Breendock was no less brutal. About 3,600 prisoners were held there--just over half of them survived. As one prisoner put it, "I would prefer to spend nineteen months at Buchenwald than nineteen days at Breendock." With access to the camp and its archives and with rare photos and artwork, James M. Deem pieces together the story of the camp by telling the stories of its victims-- Jews, communists, resistance fighters, and even common criminals"--Page  of cover.