Rules and Regulations for the Operations of German Prisoner of War Camps

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Quarterfinal, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Quarterfinal

    Quarterfinal Active Member

    Another member recently sought information about Spaniards who served with the British Army in WW2 and I pondered the status of a Spaniard who may have found himself a POW via being a Civil War Republican refugee in Palestine, a member of the ‘Palestinian Army,’ possibly the British Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps, possibly a British infantry regiment and then a Layforce commando.

    This also made me wonder about another in the same camp, remembered by as a Jew who had been awarded an Iron Cross fighting for the Germans in WW1, but who - again via Palestine - fought against the Nazis in WW2 ..... and who knows what thereafter?

    I came across this interesting piece, which I don’t think has been offered previously:

    Rules and Regulations for the Operations of German Prisoner of War Camps

    which gives a very broad insight into the Wehrmacht’s regulations for the handling of prisoners of war in prisoner of war camps in WW2.

    Worth a look ...
  2. Quarterfinal

    Quarterfinal Active Member

    Monday 8 December 1941 ought to have been a particularly busy time for the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht, Berlin Schoneberg. One imagines cut and thrust Schwerpunkt issues for the Staff. Operation Barbarossa had stalled, Rostov was back in Soviet hands, Rundstedt had just been sacked, the drive against Moscow was shuddering and shivering to a halt, Zhukov was on the counteroffensive in the Elets, Tula, Klin and Kalinin Sectors, with more woe in Velikiye Luki and a triple convergence towards Smolensk. Casualties were coming up to 750,000 and just what would be the consequences for everyone of yesterday’s attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbour?

    But in the Supreme Command, the needs of the Rheinische Gummi und Celluloid Fabrick, Mannheim were evidently pressing for some iGs. The enterprise had 700 dozen ‘rubber collars’ (whatever they are) on their shelves, which only Yugoslav Army officers might be tempted to purchase. The Mannheim Chamber of Commerce had submitted a supplication for permission to offload these desirables through the canteens in prison camps holding such Yugoslav personnel - a captive market and clearly deemed essential for the economy of the Reich.

    The solution: OKW Order 14 to the Regulierung ....
  3. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Two of my favourites:

    59. Re: Engagements for work by British noncommissioned prisoner of war officers.
    British noncommissioned officers who signed a pledge to work but are no longer willing to do so are to be returned to the camp. Their unwillingness is not to be considered as a refusal to work. The employment of British noncommissioned officers has resulted in so many difficulties that the latter have by far Out-weighed the advantages. The danger of sabotage, too, has been considerably increased thereby.

    167. Re: Poison in possession of prisoners of war.
    Narcotic poisons such as “Kif”, “Takrouri”, & Itsouffit, have frequently been found in parcels addressed to Arabian prisoners of war under the guise of tobacco packages.
  4. Les Carter

    Les Carter Member

    The Tar wrapping paper for the Russian Prisoners who died is a bit harsh, not even a cardboard coffin?
  5. Quarterfinal

    Quarterfinal Active Member

    Agreed. They were invariably treated appallingly.

    The Sentry who had his Sentry Box stolen.


    This photo was taken on 21 April 1945 in Stalag 383, looking through the open inner gate towards the outer one. A Canadian Military Police sergeant called Jack is standing next to a onetime, now unarmed German guard. They and a number of others are waiting for US forces to arrive and relieve the erstwhile evacuated Camp, which happened 24 hours later.

    The German soldier is not named on the back of the photo, but it is annotated that he was the ‘Jerry who lost the sentry box’ which, until four months previously would have stood behind the pair.

    The previous winter had been especially bitter. The experimentation of using a coal dust / clay mix as an ersatz fuel - connect Regulation 517 above - had not been a success. The story is related by AE Field DCM MM in his book ‘Prisoners of the Germans and Italians’ (p797):

    “Although the winter was cold in the extreme, the coal ration could be supplemented by wood from a near-by forest. Later, when the coal ration was discontinued, the greatest hardship at this camp was the shortage of fuel, which was virtually restricted to what could be found in the camp itself. Fenceposts gradually disappeared until there were no fences between compounds; rafters and floor joists in the huts were reduced to a bare minimum; but the classic ‘fuel-drive’ concerns a sentry-box which stood outside the main gate of the Stalag. A German-speaking prisoner lured the sentry along the wire to discuss an attractive barter proposition and eight men opened the gate and grabbed the box, which was nine feet high and weighed about three hundredweight. Under cover of darkness they took it to their hut and within a short time it was broken into small pieces and hidden in an underground room, where it remained undiscovered during an intensive search by the Germans the next day, when the floors of every hut were lifted.”

    The smart money might have been on the occupants of Hut 170?
    Les Carter likes this.
  6. Les Carter

    Les Carter Member

    Great pic, that Canadian MP Sgt is a big lad, but perhaps the German is a shorty? :D

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