Discussion in 'Germany' started by toki2, Jul 1, 2015.
Were Pow's put to work repairing roads and clearing rubble etc.?
No idea where one would look for confirmation of this. I'd imagine it might well have been a decision based on local need.
some refs made here to who might have engaged in such work, aside from the Trümmerfrauen
Thanks for the input dbf. I will try online documents from the National Archives. I have found a few interesting bits of information re treatment of German pow's on their site. As ever, it is a challenge to get the right combination of words in their search engine. I may be some time as I inevitably discover something else that looks intriguing then I am off on a tangent!
May I offer a personal response to this interesting question based on my ongoing research into the British Army (and other Allies) presence in North West Germany in the immediate post War period?
The Western Allies (particularly the French and British) were determined that there would be no repeat of the November 1918 situation, when following the Surrender of the German Forces along the Western Front the German Armies were permitted to drift home relatively unhindered thereby enabling Hitler and other like minded individuals to subsequently claim that the German Army had never been defeated in the Field but betrayed by the politicians in Berlin.
Operation Eclipse was the Allied Plan for the Occupation of Germany following the defeat of the Hitler Regime.Each of the major Allies was allocated a specific Zone of Occupation and developed their own detailed plans which reflected both longterm political and economic visions as well as immediate military aims.
I have not seen the Master Military or Naval documents for the British Zone in the North West of Germany but have seen a number of authorative entries in the relevant British and Canadian Formation War Diaries A number of.Holding Areas were to be created in relatively isolated and lightly populated areas where all German Service personnel (following the removal of all weapons and similar warlike equipment) would be directed and held post surrender, each was to be capable of accommodating hundreds of thousands of service personnel at the start. These consisted of large tented camps with a relatively secure perimeter boundary such as coastline or canal. Incumbents were marshalled by formation/unit with responsibility for day to day routine routine and administration remaining with their own officers acting under the orders of a nominated British or Canadian Senior Officer. Discipline was easily enforced, any acts of insubordination, disobedience to orders or other acts of ill discipline resulted in a reduction in food rations to the offenders.
Special instructions were issued for the handling of members of the Waffen SS, Gestapo and Nazi hierarchy suspected of War Crimes or other Crimes against Humanity, who were moved to more secure accommodation with severe restrictions on their internal movement.
Todate I have identified three such Holding Areas in the British Zone. Area A along the shores of the Friesian Coastline north of the Ems-Jade Canal between Emden and Wilhelmshaven. The responsibility initially of a Brigade from 2 Canadian Infantry Division with its Headquarters in Aurich, subsequently replaced in early July 1945 by 2/7 Brigade of 3rd Canadian Infantry Division (CAOF). The incumbents were not only those Wehrmacht Forces who had surrendered locally to the Canadian 2nd Corps but also crews from the remnants of the German Navy High Seas Fleet bottled up in Wilhelmshaven and members of the German Forces from the German Occupying Army in Holland who were moved (marched) from their Cease Fire positions across Holland to the German border under the direction of the Canadian 1st Corps
More to follow
Thanks for the input. I read a lot of WO files re Soviet POW's and DP's enforced repatriation. I believe that my father was part of the convoys handing them over at Magdeburg in the Russian zone. I am quite au fait with the situation although I have not looked into the treatment of German POW's as yet.
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