Diary from Uzbekistan (11): Uzbeks want to recreate Kamp Amersfoort

Published on 7 October 2018 by Stichting Russisch Ereveld

Tashkent, 7 October

Uzbekistan harbours serious plans for recreating Kamp Amersfoort. That was made public in Tashkent this weekend.

In this infamous concentration camp 35.000 Dutchmen have been incarcerated and 101 Uzbeks were killed there in 1942.

This remarkable initiative coincides with the publication of a book and the announcement of the making of a 7 million dollars film on this subject. Amersfoort researcher Remco Reiding will participate in this project as a screenwriter. The working title of the movie is ‘101’.

The plans for Kamp Amersfoort are part of a larger theme park with three main topics. A plot of land has already been acquired for this purpose. The replica of Kamp Amersfoort must become one of the attractions of the movie part.

For twenty years Reiding has endeavoured to trace the relatives of the 865 soldiers buried in the Soviet Russian War Cemetery. So far he has succeeded in over two hundred cases. But the names of the 101 murdered Uzbeks could not be retrieved from the archives.

For a long time carrying out research in a closed country such as Uzbekistan proved impossible. It was not until the impetus provided by the new president Shavkat Mirziyoyev that doors opened to Reiding. Today a delegation of the Stichting Russisch Ereveld which he founded completed an eleven days fact finding mission in the Central Asian country. The Uzbek authorities and local media proved helpful in this endeavour.

Mirziyoyev wants to use the moving story of the 101 as a uniting factor in his nation, that only gained independence in 1991 after one and a half century of domination by Moscow. This summer he issued a Decree to that purpose, of which book, film and theme park are a direct result.

The book ‘A hundred and one’ was presented last week. The contracts for the movie were signed on Friday. A timeline and an artist impression of the park are not yet available.