May 8, 1941.


Officers in Charge (entire Stalag X B):


Acting Commandant:

1st Lageroffizier:

2nd Lageroffizier:


Oberst von Engelbrechten (absent due to illness)

Major Le Fevre;

Hauptmann Kruse;

Oberleutnant Cremer;

Dr. Smend

Charged with supervision of British Camp:

        Kapitanleutnant Spiehs (naval officer),

        Oberleutnant Kast von Ebelsberg (naval officer).


1. General Description.

        There has been only one noteworthy change under this heading since the inspection made on April 10, 1941: an interior barbed wire fence has been stretched around the two adjacent buildings housing Chinese and East Indians so as to exclude prisoners of these races from the grounds where the other prisoners are quartered. This interior fence extends up to the entrance to the building serving as latrines and wash-rooms for Chinese and East Indians.


2. Capacity and Present Personnel.

        At the time of the present inspection there was a total of 1550 prisoners in the Marlag. The German military authorities showed a statement in which they had the above total divided racially as follows: English, 1012; Irish (domiciled in Eire), 4; West Indians (White), 6; Maltese, 12; Arabs, 11; Malays, 47; Chinese, 185; East Indians, 273. Included in the total of 1550 were approximately 550 belonging to the Royal Navy, of whom 60 were officers and 101 were petty officers. Also included therein were 158 officers of the Merchant Marine and 337 white seamen.

        In the Ilag there was a total of 1403 prisoners divided as follows: Norwegians, 8; English, 916; Canadians, 59; Spanish, 3; French, 52; Belgians, 44; Dutch, 87; Swedes, 15; Danes, 3; Greeks, 82; Negroes, 67; Irish, 20; Japanese, 4; Rumanians, 1; Portuguese, 7; Argentines, 7; Finns, 7; Poles, 9; various, 12. (As mentioned in the report of April 10, 1941, the Ilag is a separate enclosure in the Stalag, as is also the Marlag. It is said to be used only for temporary detention pending repatriation or transfer to the Marlag. It was stated that 800 Norwegians has been returned to Norway only a few days before the inspector's visit).

        In the general Stalag, apart from the Marlag and Ilag, there was a total of 8468 comprising; French, 2869; Belgians, 139; Poles, 315; Yugoslavs, 5145.

        It was said that no British prisoners were being detained in arrest quarters at the time of this inspection.

        In the previous report it was mentioned that nine British women were being temporarily detained. It has now been learned that these were sent about April 20th to a women's internment camp in Southern Germany.


3. Interior Arrangements.

        No change since last report.


4. Bathing and Washing Facilities.

        No change since last report.


5. Toilet Facilities.

        No change since last report. In one barrack some of the men complained that the number of buckets provided for their night use was insufficient and sometimes that they overflowed. The inspector took this matter up with the camp authorities, and they said that additional buckets would be provided. As has been mentioned in previous reports, the men do not have access to the regular latrines buildings after 10.00 p.m. The buckets for night use are placed at either end of the hall-way extending through each barrack.


6. Food and Cooking.

        The food situation has not changed since the previous inspection. The menu for the day of the visit was as follows:














Bread ration for entire day:

Coffee - "Ersatz"



Fresh meat sausage

Coffee - "Ersatz"


Pea-flour soup containing


Cooking fat


Potatoes, extra, in their skins

Army tinned soup

Thickening (soya bean meal)

7 grams

16  "

45 grams

45    "

7      "

16    "


45 gr.

10   "

250 "

750 "

90   "

10   "

300 grams

        The weekly food ration per person was said to be as follows (not including potatoes, of which one kilogram is allowed to each man per day):






Coffee - "Ersatz"


Other food-stuffs

500 grams

2250   "

260     "

96       "

225     "

100     "

175     "

177     "

        It was stated in the previous report that the Marlag would soon have its own kitchen. The kitchen is not yet available, and the camp authorities now say that the kitchen, when made available, will be for the use of only the officers of the Royal Navy. The cooking range for the officers' kitchen has already been installed, and within a short time the kitchen should be in use. Merchant marine officers and all others will continue to receive their food from the central kitchen of the Stalag. The mess-rooms mentioned in the previous report are not yet actually in use, but the quarters for them are already on hand and are not being used for any other purpose.


7. Medical Attention and Sickness.

        The infirmary in the Marlag is still as described in the previous reports. The English doctor looks after the prisoners of the Royal Navy and the Indian doctor after those of the Merchant Marine. Both doctors have regular hours for consultation.

        Eight men were hospitalized in the sick bays of the infirmary on the day of the inspection. These had chills, ulcers, or sore throat. Twelve men from the Marlag were in the main hospital, these having mainly gastric ulcers or dyspepsia. One of these twelve men was said to be very ill with tuberculosis and not expected to live. Immediately upon his arrival at the camp, he had been transferred to the main hospital, and the English doctor had never seen him.

        In the main hospital there were 506 cases and in the Stalag's infirmary 361 cases. These patients are mainly French, Belgians, Poles, and Yugoslavs.


8. Clothing.

        It is believed that officers and men are adequately provided with clothing. Several representative prisoners were asked about the clothing situation, and they said that it was satisfactory.


9. Laundry.

        Officers may have their clothes washed in a laundry attached to Stalag X B. They pay for their laundry service. Ratings wash their own clothes. Facilities for washing appear to be adequate.


10. Money and Pay.

        Officers of the Navy receive their pay regularly every ten days. Some 250 men, taken both from the naval ratings and the merchant marine seamen, are given an opportunity to work every day, for which they receive pay. The 250 men working rotate from day to day, so that every man wishing to work may have an opportunity to do so. Representative prisoners said that practically all prisoners welcome this opportunity. Since the previous report the German camp authorities have advanced a further aggregate sum of RM. 500.00 to Merchant Marine Officers and seamen to provide them with a small amount of spending money. Twenty-one ratings serve as orderlies and receive pay from officers whom they attend.


11. Canteen.

        The Marlag still has its own canteen, which however, is only a branch of the canteen of the Stalag. Very little is available in the canteen. Cigarettes are still available at the rate of five per man per day. No beer has been on hand for more than a week.


12. Religious Activity.

        Protestant religious services are held every day and twice on Sundays. As mentioned before, a chaplain of the Territorial Army and an officer of the Salvation Army hold the services in the Marlag. Sermons must be submitted to the German camp authorities and approved in advance. About 15 hymn books are on hand.

        A second British chaplain arrived a short time ago, and he holds services in the Ilag.

        Among the prisoners in the Marlag are about 150 Roman Catholics. A German priest celebrated mass for them once, and it was said that he would come every fortnight.

        It was stated that there were no Jews in the Marlag.


13. Recreation and Exercise.

        There is no noteworthy change to report, except that at the present time the prisoners are unable to play football, since the football which they formerly used is so worn that it is no longer usable. The camp authorities said they had ordered a new one from Berlin and hoped to have it soon. The old football was said to have become unusable about three weeks ago.

        It was mentioned in the previous report that recreation halls would soon be available. While the various buildings in which these are located are on hand and not being used for other purpose, the recreation halls are not yet actually in use.

        The officers of the Royal Navy now have a library comprising about 50 books. The naval ratings have a similar library.


14. Mail.

        Officers and men, whether belonging to the Royal Navy or the Merchant Marine, are allowed, the German camp authorities stated, to send, respectively, three letters and four postcards and two letters  and two postcards each month. However, some of the prisoners said that they were not actually allowed to send so many during the previous month and that there had recently been a complete stoppage of sending mail over a period of ten days. When the inspector took this up with the German camp authorities, he was informed that owing to the fact that the censors were very much in arrears with their work, it had been found necessary to institute the ten-day stoppage in order that the censors might catch up with their work. The authorities asserted, however, that they had recently engaged ten additional persons for censoring the mail and that in the future they expect to be able to allow the prisoners to send the full quota. The authorities said that incoming mail was delayed only one day through the censorship.

        A large shipment comprising 8000 packages was received on May 3rd. These were being opened at a rate of 600 packages each day. Six thousand packages remained to be opened on the day of the inspection. Tinned goods were being opened at the time of delivery. Representative prisoners said that since the camp authorities would under no circumstances permit delivery of tinned goods unopened, they preferred to let them be opened and obtain delivery as soon as possible, rather than have them stored away for subsequent piece-meal delivery, as they thought there would be some difficulty and dissatisfaction in connection with piece-meal delivery.

        While several small shipments of packages had been received, the above-mentioned was the first large one received at the Marlag.

        The German camp authorities have insisted on delivering a part of the contents of the packages to members of the crews of ships engaged in British service whether or not they flew the British flag. Thus Norwegians and other nationalities quartered in the Ilag have received their shares. British prisoners maintain that the contents should go only to those serving on British ships, especially since most of the prisoners of non-British nationality may expect soon to be released for repatriation. The inspector did not deem it prudent to express an opinion as to the propriety of impropriety of this manner of handling the shipments.


15. Welfare Work.



16. Complaints.

        Some prisoners complained that the German authorities had taken away from them various technical books dealing with navigation, engineering, architecture, etc. with a view to censoring them, and that the books had been taken away some three weeks before this inspection. The prisoners said that they particularly desired to retain these books in order to continue their studies. The camp authorities said they should be able to complete the censorship within about two weeks but that they could not leave these books in the prisoners' possession without censoring them, and that if there were any codes or ciphers in them, it was possible that they might not be returned during the period of captivity.

        A representative of the East Indians complained that they should not be detained in a northerly climate. In this connection the German Authorities asserted that they were detaining the East Indians at this camp only until they could arrange their transfer to a southerly climate, probably to the region of the Mediterranean. It was said, too, that the Chinese would be sent elsewhere.

        A complaint was made that the depository under one of the latrine buildings needed to the pumped out, and the German naval officer escorting the inspector said he had already given orders for this to be done and that it would be done without delay.


17. General Impressions.

        It was the opinion of the inspector that this camp is not unsatisfactory. The naval officers supervising the camp appear willing to do everything they reasonably can in order to improve conditions. They, however, appear to be able only to make recommendations to the military officers in charge of the Stalag, and these must authorize expenditures and improvements. The military officers tend to think in terms of the whole Stalag rather than of any particular part of it, and the fact that a large number of Yugoslav prisoners have recently arrived has made necessary many installations and has required the use of much material which might otherwise have gone to the Marlag.

        Since the Chinese and East Indians have been excluded from the rest of the Marlag by a barbed wire fence, there would appear to be no objection to their presence in the Marlag, and the other prisoners in the Marlag say that they ent[?] no objection thereto.



Archer Woo[?]