'Oranjehotel' was the popular name for a part of the Scheveningen prison in Scheveningen in The Hague, in use by the Germans during the Second World War. Between 1940 and 1945, about 25.000 resistance fighters and other Dutch people who resisted the German occupation were imprisoned here. After the German judges would come to a conviction, the prisoners were either liberated, sent to German concentration camps or executed at the nearby Waalsdorpervlakte. In honour of all those imprisoned people, special monuments were created in the Oranjehotel, like 'Death Cell 601'.
History The Oranjehotel in Scheveningen was the prison in the Second World War where Dutch people that had resisted the German occupier were imprisoned, interrogated and prosecuted. For most prisoners the stay at the Oranjehotel was not a long one, and was followed by either release, further imprisonment in Germany, or by execution. Between 1940 and 1945, about 25.000 people were imprisoned here. 215 prisoners of the Oranjehotel were, after being sentenced to death, executed at the Waalsdorpervlakte. After the war, special monuments were created in the Oranjehotel to commorate these Dutch people.
Monuments The Oranjehotel consists of four monuments. One of the death cells, Doodencel 601, has been maintained in its authentic state, including the furnishing and the inscriptions of hope, faith and despair that prisoners encarved in the walls.
The small gate in the outside wall, het Poortje, can still be seen from the Van Alkemadelaan. It is always closed, except during the annual commemoration on the last Saturday in September, when former prisoners and other participants enter the premises through it.
On the outside wall a plaque with the text "Zij waren eensgezind" ("They were unanimous"), was installed in 1950 to express the determination and common goal of the resistance fighters in the prison.
A fourth monument consists of four
Books of the Dead. These contain the names and short biography of 734 former prisoners who eventually died during the war. These books are kept by the National Archive in The Hague.
Death Cell 601 A number of cells of the Oranjehotel were used as death cells during World War II. Here prisoners that were sentenced to death waited to be brought to the Waalsdorpervlakte for execution. One of the death cells, Death Cell 601 ('Doodencel 601'), has been kept in its original state and now forms an impressive authentic monument. The walls show the authentic inscriptions of the prisoners, which expressed their hope, fear and their longing for home.
Commemoration Every year at the last Saturday of September the annual commemoration of the Oranjehotel is held. At this occasion also the Dutch Government, the Parliament, the City of The Hague and the Provence of Zuid-Holland are represented, as well as many associations of former war victims. After the ceremony, the participants silently pay tribute at Doodencel 601. There is also opportunity to visit the monument at the nearby Waalsdorpervlakte.
Waalsdorpervlakte The Waalsdorpervlakte is closely connected to the Oranjehotel. Situated a short distance from the Oranjehotel in the dunes of Scheveningen, this location was used by the Germans to execute those sentenced to death. Bronze crosses in the dunes now form the Waalsdorpervlakte monument. The impressive Bourdon clock was established in 1959. Waalsdorpervlakte is regarded one of the main locations where on 4 May Remembrance of the Dead, a yearly commemoration of victims of World War II and other victims of war, is held.
How to get to the Oranjehotel The prison on the Pompstationweg is accessible by car via Van Alkemadelaan, the main route to Scheveningen Bad. Anyone choosing to travel by public transport, can take the number 22 or 23 bus and the number 9 tram, all three stops are five to ten minutes' walking distance from the Oranjehotel.
Pompstationsweg 32, 2597 JW, The Hague