BAU-UND ARBEITSBATALLION 21
Date of visit: November 30, 1942
Commander: Hptm. Krueger-Junkers
British Man of Confidence: S.M. Rimington Davies, P.o.W. 6460
British Physician: Capt. George Davidson RAMC
I.) GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The camp was described in the previous reports and no change occurred in its general outset since last visit, except for new air raid shelters which have been built.
II.) CAPACITY AND PRESENT PERSONNEL
At the time of the visit there were in the camp 599 British prisoners. 255 sailors were transferred since last report from Marlag and Milag Nord, mostly from the Royal Navy and some from the Merchant Fleet.
No change in the working conditions and no complaint about it.
III.) INTERIOR ARRANGEMENTS
No change except that the rooms are more crowded than before with 24 per room; this does not seem excessive for the winter. Anyhow the camp commander has already applied for an additional barrack which, when built, will give more space for sleeping quarters.
IV.) BATHING AND WASHING FACILITIES & V.) TOILET FACILITIES
Nothing to report.
VI.) FOOD AND COOKING
No change except that the food is said to be rather better.
Red Cross parcels issued up to now at the rate of one parcel a week per man; stock for 5 weeks.
From January on this camp will be for the mail independent again from Stalag VIIIB and will receive directly the parcels from Geneva.
VII.) MEDICAL ATTENTION AND SICKNESS
Capt. Davidson R.A.M.C. is still in charge of the camp infirmary which was described in our last reports.
On the day of visit there were 80 men unfit for work. 19 of them are lying in the revier suffering from bronchitis, sore throats and flues. The others, staying in their quarters, are cases of minor working accidents, and the largest part are abscesses of the skin, impetigo and boils.
There is absolutely no evidence for the steady increase of these skin diseases as the hygienic conditions are good. A lack of vitamins seems to be improbable as a good part of the contents of the Red Cross parcels is vitaminsed now. (See special report).
The diarrhoeas of epidemic character mentioned in our last report have completely disappeared.
Conditions for dental treatment are the same as for Batallion 20: One day per week an average number of 20 men can be treated at the dental station in Kdo E3.
Drug supply from the German hospital at Cosel is sufficient. However there is only one thermometer in the whole camp. This fact was brought to the attention of the German Chief Physician Stabsarzt Dr. Preiss at Cosel who promised to do his best.
Owing to the lack of mercury the thermometers' supply is extremely difficult and it would be advisable for the Red Cross to send a small consignment to that camp.
The clothing condition in this camp was said to be good; there is a small stock.
No change; the Legation's representatives, seeing a good lot of underwear drying in the sleeping quarters, raised the question of a drying room and the camp commander promised to examine the possibility of organizing something in the line of a drying room.
X.) MONEY AND PAY
Beer is now for sale at the canteen which is otherwise very poorly stocked; in this area it is extremely difficult to buy the articles wanted by the prisoners; writing paper, razor blades and tooth paste are badly needed.
XII.) RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY
No change. An harmonium for the Church of England services was bought and paid half by the Y.M.C.A. and half by the prisoners.
XIII.) RECREATION AND EXERCISE
Some of the sport articles previously asked for from the Y.M.C.A. have arrived, but some are still expected.
The library has been reorganized and the small companies libraries have been reunited in one large library for the whole camp; it has now about 1500 books; some have been recently received from Oxford.
There was lately an exhibition of all sorts of works done by the prisoners: paintings, woodcuttings, needlework etc.
Lectures are now delivered by prisoners on their professions and are very popular.
The theatre is in full swing and shows which were said to be excellent are frequently produced. However there is now some difficulty in the way of procuring material for the costumes, paint, make up etc.
The mail was said to have been regular lately.
XV.) WELFARE WORK
This camp is regularly visited by the Y.M.C.A.
No complaints at all.
Haircutting instruments asked for from the I.R.C.C. and whose dispatch was announced by Geneva about 9 months ago have not yet been received; the Man of Confidence was told to acquaint the I.R.C.C. with this fact.
XVII.) GENERAL IMPRESSION
This camp makes still the best of impression.
The Man of Confidence stated that the occupation with the camp authorities is very easy and that the spirit among the prisoners is excellent.
Dr. Kurt Schaeffeler.
Thanks to Colin Tosh for this report.