The deportation of Belgian Jews began in the summer of 1942. A transit camp was set up in Mechelen, a city that lies between Brussels and Antwerp, the two cities with the highest Jewish populations. Mechelen already had a military base which led to the creation of the Mechelen Transit Camp (SS-Sammellager Mechelen) The Dossinkazerne, as it was referred to by the local population, was the centre of the deportation of Belgian Jews to the concentration camps. Here they were gathered and put on trains to the east. More than 25,267 Jews were deported.
It seemed that nothing could stand in the way of the well-oiled deportation machine. However, they failed to factor in the courage of three young students who stopped a deportation and freed many Jews with just a storm lamp, red paper and one pistol.