In the summer of 1942, the Germans made preparations to deport the Jews of Belgium. They converted military barracks in the city of Mechelen into a transit camp. Between August 4, 1942, and July 31, 1944, a total of 28 trains carrying 25,257 Jews left Mechelen for German-occupied Poland; most of them went to Auschwitz-Birkenau. This figure represented more than half of the Belgian Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
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