The name Dulag is a contraction of durchgangslager or entrance camp, but it has become synonymous with interrogation.

        Dulag Luft was 3 sections: A hospital in Hohemark, (50░13' N. 8░35' E.) an interrogation center in Oberursel, (50░13' N. 8░35' E.) and a transit camp in Wetzlar, (50░33' N. 8░30' E.) The latter installation supplants the transit camp formerly situated in the Botanical Gardens of Frankfurt-on-Main but destroyed in Allied bombings between 22 & 29 March. Hospital and interrogation center in Hohemark and Oberursel were not damaged and presumably are still in operation. The new transit camp, a former German flak troops camp 3 kilometers west northwest of Wetzlar, is 53 kilometers north of Frankfurt.

        TREATMENT: Because Dulag Luft is an interrogation center, treatment varies with interrogation officers' analyses of their subjects. Sometimes it is deluxe, with wine, women and song. More often it is exceedingly harsh, with solitary confinement, little food and threats of physical violence.

        FOOD: German ration is generally poor and Red Cross food parcels frequently are withheld in an effort to force Ps/W to give information.

        CLOTHING: Red Cross stocks are issued to offset frequent confiscations of flyers' "pinks" and leather jackets as civilian garments.

        HEALTH: Medical care and treatment were excellent but seem to be deteriorating, notably in the case of AAF NCO's who arrived in Stalag 17 B from Dulag Luft wearing dirty bandages 2 & 3 weeks old. While Hohemark is a bona-fide hospital it appeared to be primarily an adjunct of the interrogation center and wounded flyers rarely remain long. Those whose convalescence threatens to be protracted are interrogated and shipped to other hospitals before being sent to permanent camps.

        RELIGION: No American chaplain is in this camp and Ps/W minister to their own needs. Hauptmann Offerman, commandant of Hohemark, requires Ps/W to attend his nightly Bible readings.

        PERSONNEL: American Senior Officer: Col. Darr H. Alkire, former ASO, has been transferred to Stalag Luft 3. 1st Lt. John H. Winant may be the new ASO.

                GERMAN COMMANDANT: Oberstleutnant Becker.

                INTERROGATION CHIEF: Major Kreuger.

        MAIL: Only mail for permanent staff and patients in Hohemark is addressed to Dulag Luft. Outgoing letter clear slowly through censorship station in Stalag Luft 3, taking three months by surface and six weeks by airmail. Members of permanent staff and patients receive regular allotment of letter forms monthly. Occasionally, transients are permitted to write home.

        RECREATION: Lack of sports field is not felt because most Ps/W are weak and tired or wounded.

        WORK: None.

        PAY: None.








        INTRODUCTION: Dulag Luft, through which practically all air force personnel captured in German-occupied Europe passed, was composed of 3 installations: the interrogation center at Oberursel, the hospital at Hohemark and the transit camp ultimately at Wetzlar.




        LOCATION: Auswertestelle West (Evaluation Center West) was situated 300 yards north of the main Frankfurt-Homburg road and near the trolley stop of Kupforhammer - the third stop after Oberursel (50░12'N. 8░34'E). Oberursel is 13 kilometers northwest of Frankfurt-on-main.

        STRENGTH: The number of PW handled rose from 1000 a month in late 1943 to an average monthly intake of 2000 in 1944. The peak month was July 1944 when over 3000 Allied airmen and paratroopers passed through Auswertestelle West. Since solitary confinement was the rule, the capacity of the camp was supposedly limited to 200 men, although in rush periods as many as 5 PW were placed in one cell. Strength on any given day averaged 250.

        DESCRIPTION: The main part of the camp consisted of 4 large wooden barracks, 2 of which, connected by a passage and known to PW as the "cooler", contained some 200 cells. These cells, 8' high, 5' wide & 12' long held a cot, a table, a chair and an electric bell for PW for PW to call the guard. The third barrack contained administrative headquarters. The fourth building, a large "L" shaped structure housed the interrogating offices, files and records. Senior officers lived on the post; junior officers outside in a hotel. The commandant lived on a nearby farm. The entire camp was surrounded by a barbed-wire fence but was equipped with neither perimeter floodlights nor watchtowers.

        U.S. PERSONNEL: Some POWs were held in solitary confinement, and only for limited periods of time, no U.S. staff existed.

        GERMAN PERSONNEL: German personnel - all Luftwaffe - was divided into two main branches: Administrative and Intelligence. Under Intelligence came officers and interpreter NCOs actually taking part in the interrogations and other intelligence work of the unit. The total strength of this branch was 50 officers and 100 enlisted men. Administrative personnel consisted of one guard company and one Luftwaffe construction company, each consisting of 120 men. Some members of the staff were:

                Oberstleutnant Erich Killinger: Commandant

                Major Boehringer:                  Executive Officer

                Major Junge:                          Chief of Interrogation

                Captain Schneidwwindt:          Record Section Chief

                Leutnant B÷inghaus:                Political Interrogator

                        Later there were attached to the staff representatives of the General Luftzeugmeister's department, the General der Kampfflieger's section, the Navy and the S.S. Occasionally members of the Gestapo at Frankfurt were permitted to interrogate PW.

        TREATMENT: The interrogation of Allied PW at the hands of Auswertestelle West personnel was "korrect" as far as physical violence was concerned. An occasional interrogator, exasperated by polite refusals to give more than name, rank, serial number, or more occasionally, perhaps by an exceptionally "fresh" PW, may have lost his temper and struck a PW. It is not believed that this ever went beyond a slap on the face dealt in the heat of anger - certainly physical violence was not employed as a policy. On the other hand, no amount of calculated mental depression, privation and psychological blackmail was considered excessive.

                Upon arrival, PW were stripped, searched, and sometimes issued German coveralls. At other times they retained the clothing in which they were shot down. All were shut up in solitary confinement cells and denied cigarettes, toilet articles and Red Cross food. Usually the period of confinement lasted 4 to 5 days, but occasionally a surly PW would be held in the "cooler" for the full 30 days permitted by the Geneva Convention as a punitive measure and Capt. William N. Schwartz was imprisoned 45 days. Interrogators often used threats and violent language, calling PW "murders of children" and threatening them with death as spies unless they identified themselves as airmen by revealing technical information on some such subjects as radar or air combat tactics. Confinement in an unbearably overheated cell and pretended shootings or "buddies" were resorted to in the early days. Intimidation yielded inferior results and the friendly approach was considered best by the Germans.

        FOOD: Rations were 2 sliced of black bread and jam with ersatz coffee in the morning, watery soup at midday, and 2 slices of bread at night. No Red Cross parcels were issued. PW could obtain drinking water from the guards.

        HEALTH: As a rule, men seriously needing medical treatment were sent to Hohemark hospital. Those suffering from the shock of being shot down and captured received no medical attention, nor did the 50% suffering from minor wounds. Some PW arrived at permanent camps still wearing dirty bandages, which has not been changed at Oberursel even though their stay had been of 2 weeks' duration. Upon several occasions PW were denied the ministration of either a doctor or medical orderly and there is at least one instance where a flyer with a broken leg was refused treatment of any sort until he had answered some of the interrogator's questions 4 days after his arrival.

        CLOTHING: POWs received no Red Cross clothing. Instead they wore German fatigues or the uniforms in which they had been captured - minus leather jackets which were customarily confiscated.

        WORK: NONE.

        PAY: NONE.

        MAIL: NONE.

        MORALE: There is little doubt that the living conditions were expressly designed to lower morale and to produce mental depression of the most acute kind. Still, due partially to briefings which acquainted them with Oberursel and partially to their innate sense of loyalty, most PW successfully withstood the harsh treatment and yielded no important military information other than name, rank and serial number.

        WELFARE: Neither the Protecting Power, which was refused admission for a long time, nor the Red Cross nor the YMCA could do anything to ameliorate the condition of PW in the interrogation center.



        LIBERATION: On 25 April 1945 American troops overran Oberursel. They found Auswertestelle West no longer a going concern. Some 10 days earlier, its departments already widely dispersed over what remained of Germany; the installation had ceased to exist even as a headquarters of the German Air Interrogation service. Its records had been burnt or evacuated and its leading personalities, taking with them what remained of their organization, had fled to a new site at Nurnberg-Buchenbuhl. The new Dulag headquarters at Nurnberg did not survive the parent unit by many days. It was not long before Oberstleutnant Erich Killinger, the commandant, was discovered by Allied interrogators in an army cage. With the former roles of captive and interrogator now so completely reversed, it was a slightly apprehensive but stubborn Killinger who accompanied his captors back to the scene of his former triumphs at Oberursel.








        As soon as the Luftwaffe took over the Oberursel installation in Dec. 1939, it became obvious that a high percentage of PW would be in need of medical attention. To meet this, the camp authorities requisitioned part of Hohemark Hospital, 1 mile west of the interrogation center. This hospital had been used since World War I as a health resort and clinic for all types of brain injuries and contained a large number of German soldiers wounded in this war.

        The wards for PW were on the second floor and comprised one single room, two double rooms, and several rooms with four beds, totaling 65. Discipline was very mild. The doors of the wards were not always locked at night, and the only guards were the German medical orderlies. German medical treatment was excellent, as was the food, which came from Red Cross special invalid parcels and from the hospital kitchen. Walking cases were frequently allowed to meet and take meals together. Other ambulatory cases, as soon as their condition permitted, were allowed parole walks through the surrounding grounds and countryside.

        Wounded men were sometimes interrogated directly during their stay at the hospital. At other times, they were not interrogated until after their convalescence when they were sent to Oberursel. The comparatively luxurious single and double rooms were set aside as placed where high-ranking Allied PW could be interrogated in circumstances which the Germans considered appropriate to their rank. These PW did not have to be wounded to gain admission to Hohemark.

        Several British and American orderlies formed part of the hospital complement. They were headed by an Edward Stafford, an American who was captured while flying in the RAF Ferry Command and called himself "Captain." His assistant was Captain Kenneth Smith, who was receiving treatment for facial burns during his stay. Inmates of Hohemark received the normal allotment of outgoing letters, but only the permanent staff received incoming letters. PW's only religious activity was listening to the Bible readings of a Hauptmann Offerman.

        Hohemark was liberated simultaneously with Oberursel.






        All American Ground Force officers are questioned in the interrogation center that is adjunct of Stalag 3A, Luckenwalde, 50 kilometers southwest of Berlin. Pin-point is 52░05' North latitude, 13░10' East longitude.

        Despite a German announcement, relayed by the Swiss, that the interrogation center for AGF officers at Stalag 3A, Luckenwalde, had been closed 1 March, MIS-X knows it to be operating under the command of Captain Williams (Wilhelms), formerly of New Jersey.

        Treatment is as harsh here as at Oberursel, with the same starvation rations and prolonged periods of solitary confinement, admitted by the Germans to range up to 25 days. During this time, PW is permitted no exercise, no tobacco, no reading or writing material, no toilet articles whatsoever, and he is not allowed to whistle. The pretext for confinement here, as at Dulag Luft, is that "suspected persons," i.e., potential spies, must identify themselves as members of an army by giving technical, detailed information possessed only by soldiers in their branch.








        LOCATION: On 10 Sept. 1943 the Dulag Luft transit camp, where POWs who had been interrogated awaited shipment to permanent stalags, was moved from Oberursel to Frankfurt-on-Main. Here it was situated in the Palm Gardens only 1635 yards northwest of the main railroad station - a location which was a target area and therefore endangered the lives of POWs.

                On 15 Nov, 1943 the Swiss stated, "This visit (to the camp) leave a bad impression because of the new situation of the Dulag, so exposed to attacks from the air, which is not in conformity with Article 9 of the (Geneva) Convention."

                Thus the following Swiss announcement in the spring of 1944 came as no surprise: "Dulag Luft, Wetzlar, is succeeding Dulag Luft, Frankfurt, which was destroyed in course of one of the latest (24 March) air raids on Frankfurt. The camp is situated on a slightly elevated position approximately 3 to 4 kilometers west north west from Wetzlar, a town some 50 kilometers north of Frankfurt-on-Main and is a former German army camp (Flak troops)."

        STRENGTH: During the first 9 months of 1943, 1000 POWs a month passed through the transit camp. This increased to 1500 a month - half being British and half being American - in the last 3 months of the year. Statistics for Oct. 1944 follow:

Incoming Personnel Total

Daily Average

Total American



Total British










                Camp strength fluctuated from day to day. On the Swiss visit of 10 Nov. 1944 it was 311; on 13 March 1945 it was 925. Except for the permanent staff of 30, PW seldom stayed more than 8 days.

        DESCRIPTION: During May & June 1944, inmates lived in 18 tents pitched on the eastern side of the camp area. On 13 July 1944, they moved to the newly constructed buildings: 5 barracks and one large bungalow which held the messes and the store rooms. Capacity of the camp was 784, with tents available in case of a sudden influx. Two of the sleeping barracks were reserved for officers, 2 for NCOs, and the remaining one accommodated the permanent camp staff, sick rooms and medical inspection room. The camp staff, the officers and the enlisted men ate separately.

                Each room in the barracks held 6 to 8 triple-decker bunks - 18 to 24 men. Each bed had a mattress filled with food shavings and one pillow. All barracks had special wash rooms with built-in basins and running cold water.

                Unoccupied space within the barbed wire was somewhat limited after the erection of the last 2 barracks and the laying out of vegetable gardens cultivated for and by the POWs. The area gave a neat appearance, however, with tidy paths and well-tended lawns.

        U.S. PERSONNEL: Senior Allied Officer at Wetzlar was Colonel Charles W. Stark who enjoyed exceptionally friendly terms with the Germans and drew many concessions from them. Members of his staff were:

                1st Lt. Gerald G. Gille, Adjutant    2nd Lt. Arthur C. Jaros, Adjutant    2nd Lt. Herbert Schubert, Mess Officer

                In addition, the staff comprised: 1 Chaplain    5 kitchen orderlies    4 Mess orderlies    5 Store orderlies    4 Barrack chiefs    3 Medical orderlies    4 Barrack orderlies    1 Gardner    1 Carpenter

                A previous Senior American Officer was 1st Lt. John G. Winant.

        GERMAN PERSONNEL: The housekeeping organization consisted of:

Oberstleutnant Becker:

Major Riess:

Major Salzer:

Major Heydan:

Dr. Thomai:

Dr. Wenger:

Hauptmann Schmid:


Camp Officer

Camp Officer

Camp Officer

Medical Officer

Medical Officer

Security Officer

                In Nov. 1944 there was reported the existence in the camp of an interrogation center. According to Col. Stark; treatment was good and correct in every way. Some POWs arriving from Oberursal were in solitary and asked purely "political" questions for 2 or 3 days. Then they were admitted to the transit camp. Chief of this interrogation section was Major Ernst Dornseifer.

        TREATMENT: Treatment was better here than most any other American PW camp in Germany. German & American staffs seemed to cooperate with each other, resulting in favorable living conditions to both parties. The Senior Allied Officer operated Wetzlar as a rest camp where PW suffering from the harsh treatment at Oberursel might regain their strength and morale before traveling to permanent camps. As a result neither Germans nor Americans provoked any untoward incidents.

        FOOD: No food shortage existed at Wetzlar, even though the Germans repeatedly cut their ration until the daily issue per man was officially announced in March 1945 as:




For three days:



35 grams

25 grams

20 grams


10 grams

14 grams



Coffee (ersatz)



White cheese

320 grams

25 grams

5 grams


21 grams

14 grams






31 grams

75 grams



63 grams

                The difference between this sub-sustenance diet and the good meals actually eaten by POWs was made up by Red Cross food. One parcel per PW was drawn each week and 90% of all Red Cross food was given to the kitchen to improve German rations. Usually the stock on hand consisted of 4 month's supply. Even in Sept. 1944 when the order was given to cut food reserves to a very minimum, Wetzlar authorities allowed PW to keep 4 weeks' supply on hand. In March 1945 anticipating a possible evacuation from Wetzlar to the interior of the Reich, the SAO authorized the issue of 2 Red Cross food parcels per man per week, both to strength POWs for the march to come and to prevent the loss of food which would be abandoned in the event of a sudden move.

                The kitchen - staffed by Americans - was well equipped with 2 large cooking ranges, 3 boilers, a dishwashing room, a potato-peeling room, a tin-opening room and an adjacent storeroom.

        HEALTH: The sick bays were able to accommodate 40 men in beds, 2 of which were in a separate room reserved for contagious diseases. The medical inspection room was described as adequate and all necessary medicines and instruments were made available either from Red Cross sources or - to a lesser extent - from the Germans. Good medical treatment was received from the German staff doctor who cooperated first with Lt. Anthony S. Barling, RAMC, and then with Capt. Peter Griffin during their brief stays in camp.

                Each man received a hot shower upon his entrance to the compound and was subsequently permitted to take one each week. Although the barracks washroom taps ran only cold water, hot water could usually be drawn elsewhere some hours during the day. A 10-seat outdoor latrine was supplemented by satisfactory toilets of the modern flush type.

                Although many men arriving from Oberursel were wounded and exhausted, the general state of health was considered good.

        CLOTHING: Large numbers of POWs arrived without outer uniforms, and sometimes without underclothing or shoes. Each new arrival was equipped with at least the following articles - all of which were supplied not by the Germans but by the Red Cross:

1 shirt

1 pr. drawers

1 undershirt

1 pr. socks

1 necktie

1 pr. trousers

1 blouse

1 pr. shoes

1 set toilet articles

                Initially, the shortage of American stocks necessitated the drawing of British clothing. Later, however, most of the clothing issued was of American origin, and eventually it was possible to keep adequate stocks of British and American items separately. In March 1945 it was no longer possible to provide POWs with neatly packed "captive cases" a sort of suitcase containing the articles listed above, for the supply was exhausted.

        WORK: Since air force personnel consisted solely of commissioned and non-commissioned officers, no work beyond some of their own housekeeping chores were required of them.

        PAY: POWs received no pay, but when the camp opened in the summer of 1944, the finance committee of Stalag Luft 3, Sagan, sent the permanent staff a fun of over 4000 reichmarks.

        MAIL: Transients were allowed to send their first letter or postcard form informing next-of-kin of their status and address, but received no incoming mail. The permanent staff drew the usual allotment of letter forms and received incoming mail as well. Some air mail from the United States was received within three weeks. Average time for both air mail and surface mail was four months. As with all Luftwaffe camps, letters were censored at Sagan.

        MORALE: The Senior Allied Officer agreed with statements of the Swiss Delegates and German camp authorities that Wetzlar was an excellent camp and that "such favorable conditions are hardly to be found elsewhere in Germany." Morale of men leaving Oberursel was usually at its lowest ebb, and it is small wonder after receiving food, clothing and mingling in comparative freedom with their fellow Americans, that their spirits soared back to a level approaching normality. Most of them left Wetzlar prepared to face the difficulties of their new lives as POWs.

        WELFARE: The Protecting Power visited Wetzlar in May, July, November 1944 and March 1945 - each time forwarding the complaints of the Senior Allied Officer and making a complete report on camp conditions.

                The Red Cross supplied POWs with practically all their food, clothing and medical supplies but made no visit until Jan. 1945, when they wrote a report of their inspection.

                From the YMCA, the camp received most of its library, which eventually totaled 1500 books, and equipment for indoor games and outdoor sports.

        RELIGION: For some months the only religious activity was the regular Sunday service conducted by Warrant Officer Hooton, RAF, a Methodist. Early in 1945 Captain Daniel McGowan, a Catholic priest, conducted both Catholic and Protestant service every Sunday.

        RECREATION: New arrivals were usually in such condition as not to want strenuous exercise. Games, therefore, were as a rule limited to milder sports such as deck tennis. Once a week some PW were permitted walks outside the camp. The most popular indoor pastimes were reading, playing cards, discussing the new experience of being a PW and playing some of the table games provided by the YMCA.

        EVACUATION & LIBERATION: The Wetzlar camp log from 27 through 30 March follows:

                27 March 1945

                        0530  German order to evacuate all those able to walk with the exception of few permanent staff, who should remain to run the place. 143 remained including Col. Stark, Lt. Jaros, Lt. Comdr. Jennings, Capt. Griffin, Lt. Gille and Capt Rev. McGowan. German personnel left were 107 men, 34 women, including Maj. Dornseifer, Lt. Weyrich, and Mr. Rickmers.

                        0730  Transport left (82 men)

                        0830  We hear gunfire and sounds of approaching vehicles. Germans from across the road move into our shelters.

                        0945  Hear our troops are 4 kms west of us. Heavy gun fire all around.

                        1030  Heavy firing continues all around us. German guards are voluntarily laying down their arms.

                        1200  Col. Stark calls Mr. Rickmers & Lt. Weyrich into office and states that all guards turn in weapons and a system of joint sentry duty be posted. They agree and he is now in full command - Maj. Dornseifer cooperating fully in this.

                        1430  Activity has been heavy all around us all afternoon.

                        1700  Fairly quiet for the moment. Col. ordered 2 privates to be put in the guard house cells as they are obviously drunk. German guards brought liquor into camp. He has issued orders for no drinking including the Germans.

                        2030  Col. sent F/Lt. Lyons, Sgt. Hanson and Mr. Rickmers to try contacting our forces in the west and report our location.

                        2300  Still very active all around us - MG. fire and artillery.

                        2400  Still a good deal of firing. Most of the personnel sleep in shelters.

                28 March 1945

                        0630  Fairly constant gun fire and activity all night.

                        1000  Dr. Griffin takes wounded Pfc. into Wetzlar for operation. Armored column passing to east of us.

                        1200  Lt. Valentine arrived in jeep. Boy, are we happy to see a Yank!

                        1500  Col. Stark and Capt. Griffin are off to Staff HQ with Lt. Valentine.

                        1700  Sgt. Hanson and Mr. Rickmers return. There has been heavy firing around us all day. 1800 German paratroopers walk into camp and surrender. They are locked up.

                        1830  Col. Stark returns with 3 War News Correspondents including Belden.

                        2400  Things are fairly quiet.

                29 March 1945

                        0940  Spot cub plane landed on play field.

                        0945  Dogs were shot.

                        1000  Lt. Col. Grant of 7th Armored Division (?) arrived in jeep advising us of 750 POWs he had picked up. Limburg POWs are lousy and half starved. We have sent for them and will put them up here.

                        1200  Four Piper Cubs landed.

                        1300  Maj. McDougall (?), Medical Officer, arrived and will stay the afternoon in order to help with Limburg POWs.

                        1400  Col. Stark and party go out to reccy some German motor equipment.

                        1415  Maj. Dornseifer gave Col. Stark a list of his people who he is anxious to have out of camp as they have strong party sympathies and might make trouble. Col. Stark turns them over to an Infantry Patrol. They include the following: Sgt. Lehmann, Sgt. Hackmann, Cpl. Busch, Cpl. Stoecket and Cpl. Schaaf.

                        1420  First lot of distressed POWs arrived and are deloused, bathed and clothed.

                        1530  Maj. Tease, PWX-SHAEF executive, arrives with load of POWs.

                        1745  We are to be loaded with POWs. They have been arriving all PM.

                        2130  Finished feeding for night. 400 odd still to be deloused.

                30 March 1945

                        Work continues through the day, delousing and feeding POWs arriving in camp. Maj. Teese returns and advises us to expect 320 POWs from Hadamar in the morning. This lot will include 14 General officers and 79 Field Grade officers. Seven POWs return from our last transport, including W/Comdr. Carling-Kelly. Today the remaining German personnel were officially put to work in the office, on kitchen detail, policing camp, etc. They are dealt with through Maj. Dornseifer, Mr. Rickmers and Sgt. Keller.

                        Work is going on to prepare for the maximum number this camp will hold. Medical officers have arrived and are organizing their departments. They hope to start evacuating the worst cases shortly. The Hadamar contingent started arriving at 1100.

                        With the arrival of British officers who outranked him, Col. Stark was no longer Senior Allied Officer present. Major Teese of PWX-SHAEF, suggested that the staff remain and help in processing POWs expected to arrive within the next few weeks. A stay of such length did not seem necessary to Col. Stark and at 0515 in the morning of 31 March he drove away in a German car with Cmdr. Jennings, USNR, and S/Sgt. Lee Hughes, AAF, leaving a note for Lt. Gille. He proceeded by motor and air transport to Paris, arriving 3 April 1945.