POW Camp 180 'The Youth Camp' Radwinter/Trumpington

Discussion in 'UK PoW Camps' started by Osborne2, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Surviving Foreign Office documents for this camp administration exist in at least four files. Papers for camp 180 when it began its existence in 1944, until 1946, at Marbury Hall Base Camp, are in FO 939/336. Then the administration moved to Radwinter, later Trumpington as the Youth Working Camp.

    There have been a number of miss-filings, either in the Foreign Office or in the hand over to the PRO, now TNA. Some of the Marbury papers are definitely in the Radwinter file. They can be viewed at FO 939/311 PoW Camp 180 Trumpington, courtesy of Martin J Richards.

    I think the original of this transcription included below belongs in the Radwinter files. It is undated and resides in the Marbury FO 939/336 file. I think it is a single page and might be incomplete. It is the constitution for a camp parliament. Henry Faulk's book 'Group Captives' p100 discusses this institution's existence in October 1947. I have no doubt from the slight errors that it was written by a German.

    Its interest is the fact that the British camp management agreed to a parliament in a prison camp:

    Draft of a Constitution for POW Camp 180

    1. Provided the consent of the British Camp Commandant [is given] the inner administration of Camp 180 is to be run on parliamentary and democratic principles.

    2. For each compound a “Vertrauenerat” (Council of Confidence) is to be elected as a Compound Parliament for three months. Every hut with at least 41 men shall elect a man of its confidence. Huts with less inmates have to combine in order to form a constituency of 41-60 men and to elect a man of their confidence. The leader of the hut cannot be at the same time the man of confidence. If he is elected he must give up his hut-leadership. The Compound Parliament determines the agenda. It meets at least every fortnight. The meetings are open to the public.

    3. a. The administration of the compound is to be exacted [elected?] by a government of several members presided over by a Compound Leader who is to be elected by the Compound Parliament and Appointed by the British Camp Commandant. Other members of the Compound Government are

    (1) The Assistant Compound Leader,

    (2) The Chief Clerk,

    (3) The quartermaster,

    (4) The Head of the Cookhouse,

    (5) The Cultural Leader,

    (6) And (7) the Catholic and Protestant Chaplains of the Compound,

    (8) One of the Doctors

    b. The members of the Compound Government are to be elected by the Camp Parliament which they are not members of, and sanctioned by the British Camp Authorities.

    c. Every member of the Camp Govt. needs for the performance of his function the confidence of the Camp Parliament and performs it obeying the orders from the British Camp Authorities according to the resolutions of the Camp Parliament and Government. He is independent from other members and responsible to the Parliament.

    d. The members of the Camp Government are bound to give every [piece of] desirable information to the Government, to the Parliament and to its committees.

    4. The administration of the Camp is to be entrusted to a Central Committee presided over by the Camp Leader who is to be appointed by the British Authorities.

    Members of the Central Committee are (1 and 2) both Compound Leaders (3) a Cultural Leader for the Camp to be appointed by the Commandant and (4) a Chaplain representing both denominations.

    Edit. Name change. Old age.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
    Malcolm56 and CL1 like this.

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