POW camp in Denmark run by British forces

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Lindele, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    In southern Denmark and at the end of the war, was there a POW camp originally controlled by Denmark, but later run by British forces for German Police/SS guys?
    If so, where can I check names, ranks, etc. ?
  2. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member


    I am not sure that this is the right place but just over the Danish border from Flensburg is the Froslev Detention Camp which the Germans set up to detain Danish nationals opposed to their rule in Denmark.Many Danish police were detained here prior to be sent to concentration camps....many were sent to Germany and did not return.

    On liberation the Danes held collaborators here prior to trials.I cannot confirm that British forces were involved here.However German POWs were held in Denmark as beach mine clearance squads under a British Army Major and what I remember without looking further,about 200 POWs lost their lives in clearance activities ....memos from the B.A Major are displayed at Froslev.

    I visited the camp with my Danish friend and met a former resistant member who fortunately was forewarned by a Danish policeman that he was on the list to be picked up the following morning by the Gestapo.He put escape plans into action and was smuggled to Sweden to join the group who were to return to Denmark on liberation.This chap went on to have military links with Britain after the war and did some training with the SAS....a very interesting character who was "interviewed" by my Danish friend,There is a good display of weapons displayed at what is now a museum.

    On the other hand,I have the published secret diary of an Froslev inmate who was denounced by a Danish policeman in August 1944 for underground press activities in Copenhagen...he relates how he crammed his diary notes on to the little paper he could obtain.Later he had the pleasure of seeing the policeman prosecuted for the denouncing.

    He and his family emigrated to the US in 1957.
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Frøslev Prison Camp - Wikipedia

    When the German occupation ended, the prisoners were released, only to be immediately replaced with suspected Nazi collaborators, and the camp's name was changed to Fårhus Camp (Fårhuslejren). The internment camp was now run by the Danish resistance movement, and among those interned was Frits Clausen, former leader of the Danish Nazi party. Later on, the Danish state took over from the resistance movement, using the camp as the country's largest correctional facility for convicted collaborators.

    No mention of British troops running the camp


    The untold horror of how Danes forced German POWs to clear mines after WWII - within this article is the phrase
    "The Danes did not resist the decision, which was made by the British military that controlled the area and violated the Geneva Convention prohibition against making prisoners of war do dangerous work."


    "The prisoners were brought by the British to a prison camp in Southern Jutland"

    I would therefore assume that some UK records of something exist possibly under SHAEF
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Just looking at the news item.I do not think that the POWs were forced marched through the minefields....they were engaged in minefield clearance under supervision of the British Army...a most dangerous task.....probably dedicate training may not have been structured.

    The French used German POWs for mine clearance on the Atlantic beaches as reflected by the postwar graves at the German Berneuil military cemetery south of Saintes. Here there is a common grave holding five casualties all on the same date as late as 1948.

    A late friend of mine was engaged in minefield clearance while the army,I think it was on a Norfolk beach.There was an incident and he was lucky in that he didn't lose his life but his right hand was injured badly resulting in it being virtually a stump..
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  5. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Thanks to both of you, Harry and TD. TD, what is
    SHAEF, TD?

    I will also check the name of SS Standartenführer Otto Bovensiepen.
    That name rings a lot of bells. There is a Bovensiepen a successful biz man in North Germany of today, I think in the advertising business.

  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Here is an article on Denmark's minefield clearance using German POWs with the task force commanded by the British Army's Major Holland.

    The marching across minefields was a demonstration that areas had been cleared for the benefit of the Danish public....the report of POWs being forced marched across a minefield appears to be far fetched.

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  8. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    News about:
    SS Standartenführer Otto Bovensiepen.

    now I remember what that name reminded me of:

    Otto is most likely the father of the 1936 born Burghardt Bovensiepen, Top Manager of Alpina. An amazing business: they tune BMWs and sell top wines, eg. Chateau Margaux. I love both, how about you?
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I cannot place this photograph for it appears to be credited to the German government as indicated by Bundesarchive although it is difficult to accept that British soldiers would be there without a German military presence. However the date period is given as 1945/1948 and it might be a photograph showing the return of German refugees from Denmark to Germany.There appears to be a nurse assisting a man down the ramp

    As the Red Army surged westwards,a tide of German refugees flowed into Denmark...there is abundant evidence from certain cemeteries that there was initially, a high mortality rate among these refugees.I think it was as late as 1950 before the last German refugees left Denmark.

    Perhaps the foto credit o Ang might point to clearer information.

    Just looking at TD's Denmark in World War 2 reminds me of the statistics of Allied arms etc drops to the occupied Europe.Denmark had the lowest tonnage dropped at 800 tons.The highest was 17000 tons dropped to Yugoslavia,exceeding France by a few hundred tons.

    During a lecture on the subject,a question was asked why Yugoslavia?.....the simple answer given was..."they were killing more Germans"
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If you note the Sten gun over the soldiers shoulder on the right of the picture has no magazine loaded

    I am assuming that he is British

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  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Yes two British soldiers evident.

    I think the photograph shows German refugees from Denmark disembarking in the British zone ,at probably a Baltic port. (arrangements for a return to such as East Germany would be completely out of the question)
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  13. Marco

    Marco Senior Member

    Land of Mine | Review - IONCINEMA.com "Martin Zandvliet leaves behind the world of theater for his third feature, Land of Mine, a based on fact account of German POWs in post-WWII Denmark."
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