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POW Camps in South Germany


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#1 Rusty2727

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:24 PM

Hi Pal's

can anyone enlighten me of prison camps in Southern Germany, possibly any that may have held a large number of Russian POW's in 1918.

Thanks

Russ

#2 hywyn

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:30 PM

Russ

A couple of weeks ago I spotted on the Hamburg Cemtery details on CWGC that it was one of four where burials had been concentrated from other cemeteries in Germany
The four are
Berlin South Western
Hamburg
Cologne Southern
Niederzwerhen

None seem to be particularly in the South but the last refers to Russian burials.

The cemetery was begun by the Germans in 1915 for the burial of prisoners of war who died at the local camp. During the war almost 3,000 Allied soldiers and civilians, including French, Russian and Commonwealth, were buried there In 1922-23 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries. Niederzwehren was one of those chosen and in the following four years, more than 1,500 graves were brought into the cemetery from 190 burial grounds in Baden, Bavaria, Hanover, Hesse and Saxony. There are now 1,796 First World War servicemen buried or commemorated in the Commonwealth plot at Niederzwehren. This total includes special memorials to 13 casualties buried in other cemeteries in Germany whose graves could not be found. The following cemeteries are among those from which graves were brought to Niederzwehren: BAYREUTH TOWN CEMETERY, Bavaria. 24 burials of 1918. DARMSTADT FOREST CEMETERY, Hesse. In use from 1915. 102 burials. DIETKIRCHEN PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Hesse-Nassau. 45 burials (28 of Irish regiments) of 1914-18. FREIBURG IN BREISGAU MAIN CEMETERY, Baden, 43 burials of 1918. GERMERSHEIM CEMETERY, Palatinate. 26 burials of 1915-1918. GIESSEN MILITARY CEMETERY, Hesse. 99 burials of 1914-1919. GOTTINGEN MILITARY CEMETERY, Hanover. 88 burials of 1914-1919. HAMELN PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Hanover. 70 burials of 1915-1918. INGOLSTADT CEMETERY, Bavaria. 23 burials of 1917-1918. LANGENSALZA PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERIES No. 1 and No. 2, Prussian Saxony. 225 burials of 1915-1918. MAINZ MILITARY CEMETERY, Rhein-Hessen. 23 burials of 1915-1919. MANNHEIM MAIN CEMETERY, Baden. 21 burials of 1916-1918. MESCHEDE PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Westphalia. 49 burials of 1917-1918. OHRDRUF PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Thuringia. 107 burials of 1915-1918. PADERBORN CEMETERY, Westphalia. 29 soldiers burials of 1914-18. QUEDLINBURG CENTRAL CEMETERY, Prussian Saxony. 102 burials of 1914-1918. SENNELAGER PRISONERS OF WAR CEMETERY, Westphalia. 32 burials of 1914-1918.


http://www.cwgc.org/...ry=91502&mode=1

You may want to check the locations of the 'feeder' cemeteries plus some of those in the other three.
Hywyn

#3 Rusty2727

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:50 PM

Hi Hywyn,

Thank you very much for your reply, its given me some names to go on and research as ive completely hit a blank as to find out which POW camp my relative was in apart from the family rumor that it was in Southern Germany with lots of Russian POW's

Thanks again Hywyn

Russ

#4 Doug Johnson

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:14 PM

Russ,

There were a large number of camps in southern Germany, most, if not all of which would have held large numbers of Russian prisoners. Without any other clues the task is impossible. Doegen would provide a list of army corps and their head camps and if you can wait a little I will look at my copy to see how many there are and if not more than about thirty I will list them for you. These will be the head camps. All prisoners in germany would have a head camp even if they never actually went there though most would farmed out to working camps of which there are an untold number, certainly in the thousands but perhaps not as many as the highest estimate I have seen quoted which is 400 000!

Doug

#5 Rusty2727

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:22 PM

Hi Doug,

I'd really appreciate that pal, thank you, its become the hardest part of the jigsaw to unravel, the only other reference the family has is that at whichever camp he was held, he was a trustee of a bakery which of course wouldn't help shed any light on where he was whatsoever, but would be great when you get the chance and if not to many your information would be greatly received.

Thanks for now Doug.

Russ

#6 Doug Johnson

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:27 PM

Russ,

As far as I can tell the following are the head camps in the southern part of Germany (from Mannheim down)that in October 1918 had both a significant roll of Russians and also had some Brits. I would stress that this is October 1918 and earlier in 1918 the position may have been different. Also these numbers are those on the books at the head camps, the actual numbers in the camp will be significantly lower as many will be away at other camps which are controlled by the head camp. In terms of Rastatt, the name of Russian Lager is merely to distinguish it from the civilian lager at the same place.

XVth Army Corps

Oberhofen 9405 Russian 156 British

XIVth Army Corps

Heuberg 7492 Russian 887 British
Mannheim 9737 Russian 1327 British
Rastatt (Russian Lager) 9826 Russian 163 British
Tauberbischofsheim 5384 Russian 35 British

Bavaria

Bayreuth 7423 Russian 1456 British
Erlangen 7037 Russian 3 British
Landau 2264 Russian 212 British

Wurttemberg

Ludwigsburg Eglosheim 3178 Russian 3 British

Doug

#7 Rusty2727

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:18 AM

thanks for that Doug, this is going to be a tricky one me thinks!...i was hoping that there may have only been one or two that had the large amount of Russian POW's to help narrow it down...oh well, the missing link continues to allude me! :wacko:

#8 Rusty2727

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:11 AM

Doug,

Just re looking at the list, as far as im aware Harry never mentioned there was a low number of British/Allied prisoners so im thinking maybe the Heuberg,Mannheim and Bayreuth maybe worth looking into further.

Russ

#9 Doug Johnson

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:08 PM

Russ, there would almost cetainly be a relatively small number of Brits resident in these camps, the majority being out at other camps. The numbers only tell of those registered, not those resident. There would be more in the camps if they held a high number of NCOs (who were not required to work) but these are not recorded separately.

This is L/Cpl George Carle's comments on the capacity of Heuberg;

Heuberg is a camp which is capable of holding a large number of prisoners. I think its capacity is 13,000, but while I was there it was fairly empty. 7000 would be the largest total of prisoners while I was there. (August 1916 to April 1917) Of these, about 300 were British


The numbers resident in the head camp varied considerably throughout the war, varying with the seasons and with the German successes.

Doug

#10 Keith Roberts

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:49 PM

Doug

One of the men I have been tracking is buried at the Cologne South Cemetery. As this was a concentration, are the CWGC likely to have information about his initial burial, assuming of course that he was not a prisoner at Cologne itself? I don't want to hassle them with useless enquiries unless there is a chance of a result.

Keith

Edit: I just had the thought - would his death certificate by likely to record the place of his death? I have two versions - SDGW says Died of wounds, while the local press stated pneumonia.

#11 Rusty2727

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:23 AM

Hi Doug,

Think this one is going to very hard to find out where he was held until the ICRC doc's are availible online in 2014, thats going to kill me to wait that long, but i cant think of any other way of tracking it down,the only other anvenues to explore i can think of would be local press to see if he was mentioned, have you any other ideas Doug?

Russ

#12 seaforths

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 10:04 AM

Hi Doug,

Think this one is going to very hard to find out where he was held until the ICRC doc's are availible online in 2014, thats going to kill me to wait that long, but i cant think of any other way of tracking it down,the only other anvenues to explore i can think of would be local press to see if he was mentioned, have you any other ideas Doug?

Russ

 

Hi Russ - I'm resurrecting this thread as I am wondering if you managed to find the camp in southern Germany you were looking for? I have been collecting together some details on four locations of possible unofficial camps which I am working on at the moment. I am trying to work through each location methodically and so far, I have manage to confirm the definite existence of one of these being used as a camp and containing a mix of what seems to be registered and unregistered POWs. I also have the photograph album of a German Officer working at this location which confirms it was a prison camp. Other evidence on this location is a POW personal account and a translated letter in the WO 383 files.but I would be interested to know if you got your man or any leads through the ICRC as I am still trying to accumulate more evidence on the other three locations.



#13 Rusty2727

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 01:49 PM

Good afternoon Seaforths,

 

I did go through the ICRC website over christmas and did find my great grandfathers detail on there, unfortunatly there was no indication of a prison camp.

I literally went through every name alphabetically that had been in the 1st Battalion KLR and taken POW on the 16/4/18 to search their records to see if a 

camp was listed for them, i no 20 men of the 1st KLR went missing on the 16th and managed to find about 6 of them (that i could confirm) but only one of them had a listed a POW camp on their 

records at least i think its a POW camp. The areas mentioned where the soldiers were picked up on the 16th was Arras and Croisilles.

 

Attached my GG's record for you to see (Henry Billington), i'll attach another name doc also for you to look at.

Attached Files



#14 Rusty2727

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 01:53 PM

If you look at this soldier (FOWLER) he was also 1st KLR taken on the 16th from Croisilles, but seems to have a camp listed written in Red Ink top right, at least i think this

maybe a camp?

Attached Files



#15 seaforths

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 02:50 PM

Good afternoon Seaforths,
 
I did go through the ICRC website over christmas and did find my great grandfathers detail on there, unfortunatly there was no indication of a prison camp.
I literally went through every name alphabetically that had been in the 1st Battalion KLR and taken POW on the 16/4/18 to search their records to see if a 
camp was listed for them, i no 20 men of the 1st KLR went missing on the 16th and managed to find about 6 of them (that i could confirm) but only one of them had a listed a POW camp on their 
records at least i think its a POW camp. The areas mentioned where the soldiers were picked up on the 16th was Arras and Croisilles.
 
Attached my GG's record for you to see (Henry Billington), i'll attach another name doc also for you to look at.

Hi Russ - scroll back through the pages and it will give you the name of the prison camp the list refers to. This is just a single page in that list.

Edit: Sorry - just noticed the camp is Parchim.

#16 seaforths

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 02:57 PM

If you look at this soldier (FOWLER) he was also 1st KLR taken on the 16th from Croisilles, but seems to have a camp listed written in Red Ink top right, at least i think this
maybe a camp?


This camp is Friedrichsfeld.

#17 Rusty2727

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 03:09 PM

do you mean all the names on the on the page under Parchim were actually held there including my Great Grandfather?



#18 seaforths

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 03:20 PM

The names on the pages show Parchim and the men should have been there or at work camps administered by Parchim and therefore not so far away from Parchim but too far to travel on a daily basis. However, because of their date of capture in the spring of 1918, it might also indicate they were registered there but didn't get anywhere near there and might not have even left France/Belgium.

Have a look at the the other thread on which I have also posted today (the camps behind the lines). Look at the information on the second man I have given. He was registered with both of these camps but never got into Germany.

You think he might have been held in southern Germany. Are you able to expand on that information in any way?

#19 Rusty2727

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 03:35 PM

Thanks Seaforths, i will read your other thread with interest.

 

I cant expand at all on the info given regarding the camp in southern Germany, the info was given to me by Henry's youngest son, he new very little about his fathers war experiences as he never

spoke about it, but on the one occasion he did, he said he was held in a camp in southern Germany, with a large number of Russian POW's and that he was made a Trustee? of a Bakery? this

is all i had to go on, I have to admit after waiting 2 years to be able to view the ICRC records and not to be able to confirm where he was help was bitterly disapointing.



#20 seaforths

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 03:44 PM

Unfortunately, the Russians were just about everywhere. In the other thread one of those two men mentions Russians moving in large numbers through France. I will try to get on my PC again later and refresh my memory on where the men were registered at the locations I have for southern Germany. One of these locations had a large number of Romanian POWs and it was known initially as a Romanian camp up until 1917. However, in 1918 British POWs were being sent there too.

#21 Rusty2727

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 06:38 PM

Thank you seaforths, if you can shed any light on a best guess as to where he may have been would be great, I have kind of give up on ever finding exactly where he was

as i dont think it's going to be possible, the ICRC was my last hope really..



#22 seaforths

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 11:40 AM

Russ try not to be downhearted and don't give up. I see on the ICRC that he has a repatriation record of 25 November 1918. You say that you have the names of others captured with him so I am guessing that you have seen the British Red Cross Lists. To put it into some perspective, I was reading through some Foreign Office files last night. The German Red Cross maintained they captured 90,000 prisoners in the spring offensive of 1918. The British Red Cross maintained they had only received the names of 25,000 of those men and had not received addresses for many of them.

I'm not very hot on English regiments but you could try looking at men from the units on the right and left of him because in the confusion, they often became mixed up. You could also try searching CWGC records using the names and details of those captured with him to find out if any of them died in captivity and where they were originally buried.

Another couple of options would be to contact and visit his regimental museum to see if they have any personal accounts written by prisoners captured at that time. You could also try local archives and newspapers because sometimes families put in snippets about their missing relatives.

Some of the men kept behind the lines to work were eventually sent through to Germany but an awful lot of them were not.

#23 Rusty2727

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 11:43 AM

Thank Seaforths, i'll keep trying..you never no do you....may just strike gold one day....thanks pal..



#24 seaforths

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 11:26 AM

Thank Seaforths, i'll keep trying..you never no do you....may just strike gold one day....thanks pal..


Do you know what his pre-war occupation was? I came across a statement last week. The man stated that when they were in the cages, they were asked about their pre-war occupations and skills. They were looking for engineers, miners, farm workers and bakers. The 1911 census might give some information on that.

I have posted a topic on Lorrach/Loerrach already, which is about as far south as you can get. It involves men regsitered at Parchim who should have been registered with Heuberg. I have another two similar locations, on which I wish to post information about prisoners and both of these are also south (on the Swiss border). I'm only in a position to post about one of those two at the moment. While I have enough evidence to post now on both, I've located something else at Kew on one of them and I'm holding back on that one until I can see what emerges (two statements not printed but one seems to have survived and is in Foreign Office files - the strongest statement is a definite gonner but I'm hoping the surviving one will give me some additional information).

Some of the stuff I'm doing on these places flings up a few names but not many. I also note that the page you posted for the second man (FOWLER) shows he was previous registered at Parchim.

#25 seaforths

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 10:30 AM

Thank Seaforths, i'll keep trying..you never no do you....may just strike gold one day....thanks pal..

 

Hi Russ,

 

You might want to read this one regarding prisoners working at a bakery:

 

http://mccreath.org....s/#.VTOCAWxFCM8