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Heilsburg, East Prussia


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#1 Barton

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 05:19 PM

My grandfather was taken prisoner on the 27th of May 1918 at the Battles of Arles (Chemin de Dames). As per the ICRC he was a POW at the Heilsburg camp until the end of the war.

I would appreciate any information on this POW camp, as I have not been able to find much of it. I would also like to find out when were the prisoners released and where they were first taken.

Thank you



#2 Doug Johnson

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:25 PM

Barton,

Heilsburg was a head camp and is where he would have been registered but not necessarily there all the time. The camp was visited for the first time on Britain's behalf in 1917 and as such the report was not published though a copy of it is at TNA in FO383/273 and a further report on the situation there is in FO383/383. I do not have a copy of these reports. Prior to that it was visited by the spanish on behalf of the French in October 1916. I have no copies of the Spanish reports. The only description that I have is from Mrs P-H which is as follows;

A big camp on the outskirts of the town divided by a chaussee, the camp proper being on one side and the lazaret on the other. Consists of fifty earth huts. Centre of commandos engaged in agriculture and in rebuilding the devastated town of Goldap and other places. 7th Army Corps.


In October the Spanish reported that there were 139 prisoners in the camp of which 56 were French. These low numbers are typical of camps at the time as large numbers were at the sub camps such as;

• Goldap
• Pillkallen
• Stallupönen
• Tollmingkehmen
• Trakenhnen
• Tublauken

This should be compared to the numbers registered there in October 1918 which were as follows;

French Officers 3
French Men 3 070
Russian Officers 17
Russian Men 90 565
Belgian Men 88
English Officers 1
English Men 997
Serbian Men 30
Rumanian Men 67
Italian Officers 1
Italian Men 384
Portuguese Men 24
Civilians 174

Total 95 421

I have no postcards of the camp nor is there any picture of it that I can find in the contemporary German publications that I have.

Doug

#3 egbert

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:49 PM

See note #5for further links to Lager Heilsburg