CONFIDENTIAL

No. 555

BRITISH (Canadians only)

 

Stalag II D Stargard (Pommern)

Date of visit: August 21st 1944

 

Stalag Commander: General-Major Plammer

2nd. in Command: Oberstlt. Wulz

German M.O.: Stabsarzt Dr. Schmidt

Security-Officer: Hptm. Boldt

Arbeitseinsatz: Hptm. Petermann

Welfare-Officer: Oblt. Lütjohann

Accompanying Officer German High Command: Hptm. Schade

Canadian Chief M.o.C.: CSM L. Martin (26721)

Camp-Leader: CSM E. Anthony (27091)

S.B.M.O.: Capt. D. Taverner RAMC (1173)

 

Reference is made to our previous report No.430 dated April 1944.

 

I. GENERAL DESCRIPTION

        No change.

 

II. CAPACITY AND PRESENT PERSONNEL

        The British camp strength shows the following figures:

Place

Stalag compound

Stalag Revier

Lazaret Stargard

on 24 Arbeit-Kommandos

"S" Coy

Arrest

Escaped

Res.Laz.Uckermünde (mental)

TOTAL

Officers

1

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

3

NCO

202

6

7

11

11

2

1

 

240

Men

114

38

18

727

23

13

3

1

923

Total

317

45

26

738

23

13

3

1

1166

 

III. INTERIOR ARRANGEMENTS

        Since about 200 NCOs with RSM Lescombes (26572) as Camp-Leader have left this Stalag for Stalag 357 Thorn, the overcrowding has been overcome and the men have more moving space within their quarters. The lighting has been improved and another considerable improvement is the installation of a theatre and recreation-room in one of the former latrine-houses. The men have made all the work for the theatre themselves with material from the Red Cross, YMCA and also from the Germans.

 

IV. BATHING AND WASHING FACILITIES

        No change, adequate.

 

V. TOILET FACILITIES

        In order.

 

VI. FOOD AND COOKING

        All the cooking of the German rations is done by French personnel but one of the Canadians is appointed to check the rations for his comrades. This works quite well and the men had no complaints. The cooking of the Red Cross food is done on the stoves in the billets or on little selfmade cookers outside the barracks. There is a stock of Red Cross parcels for 12 weeks at hand.

 

VII. MEDICAL ATTENTION AND SICKNESS

        The average number of prisoners treated at the Revier amounts to 30 - 32 men per day. Capt. Taverner is i/c. of medical attention with 6 medical orderlies to assist him. The Revier itself has only slightly improved. A partition has been made with boards from the large Canadian Red Cross boxes which serves as a consulting room. There is still no running water in the Revier barrack and no inside-latrines and the beds are of the same triple tier type as on the occasion of our last visit. Delegate expressed his dissatisfaction about the present accommodation but was informed that a new Revier will be definitely available within two months. It will be housed in a barrack next to the British compound, the plans were shown to the Delegate and if carried out it will be very satisfactory. There are good reasons to believe that something will be done as some of the necessary material was already on the spot.

        Amongst the patients are 6 cases with TB for which the Delegate made an application for removal to a TB hospital. This was granted. 13 men marked by the German M.O. as DU are awaiting the Mixed Medical Commission for Repatriation. Some more will be presented by the British M.O. to this Commission.

        Capt. Taverner reports that the general state of health is fairly good but there are some complaints from the Labour-Detachments about medical attention. The Chief M.o.C. has made a list about these deficiencies and handed it to Stalag authorities.

 

VIII. CLOTHING

        The clothing situation has much improved since our last visit. It may be called adequate now.

 

IX. LAUNDRY

        No change, satisfactory.

 

X. CANTEEN

        No change.

 

XI. RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY

        Capt. John Foote, a protestant padre has arrived at this camp and he attends to church services here and on Commandos. The application for a Roman-Catholic priest is still pending and will be renewed by the P.P..

 

XIII. RECREATION AND EXERCISE

        Very good. All sorts of sports are carried out and with the installation of a new recreation-hall the situation will still improve.

 

XIV. MAIL

        Satisfactory.

 

XV. WELFARE WORK

        Oblt. Lütjohann, the welfare officer i/c Canadians is reported to be helpful and good to the men. A Commission from the IRCC has been here two weeks ago and a Representative of the YMCA is supposed to call at the end of this month.

 

XVI. COMPLAINTS

        On the 17th of June 1944 19 men had been sent to the "S" Company and no reason was given. The Delegate inquired into the matter but the Commandant refused to give any explanation. The matter will be taken up with the German High Command.

        A general complaint was about the treatment. Before the men left their previous camps they were informed that they would go to an exclusively Canadian Stalag where they would receive preferential treatment in compensation for the good treatment German prisoners receive in Canada. When arriving at this Stalag the men found out that the treatment was not better but in the contrary more severe than in their former camps and asked to be sent back. According to Stalag authorities the men behaved so badly when arriving that they have forfeited all preferential treatment. The only privilege which is left consists in sending the men only to farming and forestry Kommandos and not in factories and similar establishments. In view of this the relations between the Prisoners and Camp authorities are not too good.

 

XVII. GENERAL IMPRESSION

        Materially speaking conditions may be considered adequate. With the removal of a good number of non-working NCO's the tension between Camp authorities and prisoners has somewhat eased and it is hoped that the relations will improve further. The Stalag Commandant inclines to show more appreciation for the Canadians as before.

 

ALBERT A. KADLER

 

 

LABOUR-DETACHMENTS depending on STALAG II D Stargard (Pommern)

 

CSM L. Martin, Chief M.o.C. Stalag II D selected the following Labour-Detachments to be visited by the Delegate of the Protecting Power.

 

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Arb. Kdo. 445 Plathe

Date of visit: August 22nd 1944

British M.o.C.: L/Cpl. D.H. Pike (26219)

 

I. The Kommando is housed in a very good brick-built one storied barrack which is situated outside Plathe near the saw-mill where the men work. The barrack is of a very recent type only the yard where the men can get some fresh air is comparatively small. The men arrived here on 25th of June having been at another Kommando before.

 

II. There are 25 Canadian Ps.o.W. who are employed at a saw-mill which is about 400 metres from the camp. The men work 10 hrs a day. Sundays are usually free but on two Sundays the men were called out for air-raid precaution work. This work is finished now.

 

III. The barrack holds two sleeping rooms, a large and well-equipped kitchen where the men take their meals, a good wash and bathroom and two store-rooms. The sleeping rooms are furnished with the usual double-tier wooden beds, straw-sacks, blankets, stools and tables and some cupboards. There are good stoves and electric light which was on the day of visit out of order but will be repaired within the next days.

 

IV. There is a boiler to prepare hot water in the wash-room; a modern bath-tub and seven washbasins are available. At least twice a week the men can have hot baths.

 

V. Latrine-hut in the yard with three seats, pit-type.

 

VI. One man is i/c of the cooking. They pool all their Red Cross food stuff in order to improve the German rations and subsequently their meals.

 

VII. Medical attention is given by a civilian doctor at Plathe. Fairly good treatment is reported. Dental treatment organized. There is some first-aid kit in camp and one of the men, in civilian life a sanitator, looks after the men.

 

VIII. Satisfactory. Everybody has least one full uniform and a second pair of trousers. One man working in the boiler-room will be provided with overalls or an apron.

 

IX. Laundry is done individually. Soap and washpowder issued.

 

X. Pay is correct.

 

XI. The M.o.C. goes about once a month to Stalag for shopping. Beer is always available.

 

XII. The padre has been here once.

 

XIII. Good. Swimming was allowed these last Sundays. Football is played as well. Musical instruments, books and indoor games are available.

 

XIV. Mail is reported to be good.

 

XV. Nothing to report.

 

XVI. The only complaint was about the lighting which has never been working since the men arrived at this Kommando. It is understood that this was due to a breakdown of the machinery at the saw-mill and that repairs will be finished with the end of this week.

 

XVII. This camp may be considered as a good one and the men report good understanding with military and civilian authorities.

 

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Arb. Kdo. 419 Pinnow

Date of visit: August 22nd 1944

British M.o.C.: Pte. A.J. Grant (4118)

 

I. The camp consists of two large farmwork barracks within a reasonably large compound, situated on a little hill and overlooking part of the farm and the little village where the men work. One of the barracks serves for sleeping, the other holds the day-room and kitchen and a store-room. The two huts are rather oldish but have recently been repaired and white-washed. Within the compound is also the latrine hut.

 

II. 39 Canadian Ps.o.W. form the camp strength and they are all engaged on general farm work. Working hours at this time of year from 7.00 to 19.00 with 2 hrs. break the meals. Occasional Sunday work such as cattle feed milking, fetching fodder, etc.

 

III. The sleeping room is furnished with double-tier wooden beds; some cupboards and small shelves, one large brick stove, electric light. Ventilation may be considered as adequate, the men being allowed to have the small barren windows open at night. The Day-room holds sufficient sitting accommodation and tables and two large stoves of which one is used for preparing Red Cross food stuff. Electric light.

 

IV. Bathing and washing facilities are very primitive. There is no running water in the camp. The water is drawn from a village pump and brought to the camp in a tank-waggon. At the present time of the year washing is done behind one of the barrack where the men have a number of wooden wash-basins and a wooden bathtub at their disposal. Water may be heated in a copper. During the cold season there is a little separation when entering the day-room where the washbasins may be put on a bench. The Delegate asked to have a water-pipe laid to the camp and better washing facilities arranged but it is doubtful whether it can be made as there is also a pump necessary and as it is well known all these materials are very scarce in Germany.

 

V. The latrines are in a small shed between the two barracks and consist of 6 seats. (Bucket-type.)

 

VI. The cooking of the German rations is done by one of the men in the large kitchen in the main-building of the farm. Good rations with plenty of vegetables available. Red Cross food is cooked in the kitchen at the camp.

 

VII. Medical attention by a German M.O. at Regenwalde (25 Km). The men go there by train. Dental treatment, fillings and extractions, organized. There is some medical kit in camp and one man with YMCA experience is in charge of it. General state of health good.

 

VIII. The clothing position is fair and some more clothing is expected. Men experience some difficulty in having their boots repaired due to lack of repair material.

 

IX. The laundry is done by the men themselves.

 

X. Pay is correct.

 

XI. Canteen is almost non-existent. Some supplies are sent from Stalag.

 

XII. The padre from Stalag has been here lately.

 

XIII. Outdoor recreation is a sore point at this Kommando. Due to the fact that several men escaped from this camp [?] these facilities have been cut down by military authorities being considered as a privilege. The Delegate did not agree with this point of view and after length discussions with the Company Commander football and swimming was allowed again. Indoor recreation is satisfactory, books, games and musical instruments being available.

 

XIV. Mail is stated to be fairly good.

 

XV. Nothing to report.

 

XVI. Besides the washing facilities and the outdoor recreation, no complaints were brought to the Delegate's knowledge. Some minor points were amicably settled on the spot.

 

XVII. Although rather primitive from the material point of view, this Kommando may be considered as tolerable. The men show excellent spirit.

 

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Arb. Kdo. 918 Grüssow

Date of visit: August 22nd 1944

British M.o.C.: Sgt. A.L. Saunders (25912)

 

I. This Kommando is accommodated in a newly created brick-built country house where the prisoners hold the ground-floor and the guards two rooms under the roof. The ground floor is divided into a sleeping room, a day-room, a kitchen with a small lobby and the latrines. Rather small compound within the large farm-court.

 

II. 29 Canadians Ps.o.W. engaged on general farm work from 7.00 to 20.30 on week-days with 2 1/2 hrs. break for meals. Occasional sunday work. The present working hours will be cut for an hour as soon as the harvest is over.

 

III. Double-tier wooden beds in the sleeping room which is rather crowded, benches and tables and cupboards in the day room which is adequate. Good stoves, electric light. A great nuisance are the thousands of flies which infest the billet. The men helped themselves in putting fly-screens on the windows which they had sent from home.

 

IV. In this Kommando too there is no running water in the camp, it has to be drawn from the village pump. There are a number of washbasins available and a rather small wash-tub. A larger one will be provided as well as a boiler to heat the water.

 

V. Toilets are accessible from the yard and consist of 4 seats and an urinal. More chloride of lime will be provided.

 

VI. Self-cooking in own kitchen. One man is in charge and is able to check the rations. Cooking utensils are rather short but improvements promised. Almost all the eating utensils in camp, such as dixies, cups, plates, spoons, forks, etc. are of Red Cross origin, the employer being unable to provide anything. Without this generous assistance which is very thankfully received the men would probably have to eat out of their Red Cross tins. This fact has more or less been noticed on all the Kommandos.

 

VII. Medical attention is unsatisfactory. The men have to go to Belgard, about 8 km. where they see a Russian doctor. This doctor may be quite a good doctor but first of all he has no standing with the German authorities being a Russian P.o.W. and secondly the men cannot make themselves understandable to him. The Delegate took the matter up and the Guards Company Commander promised to see that the Canadians will be attended by a German M.O. Dental treatment is organized. First aid-kit in camp. General state of health good.

 

VIII. Clothing and boots in good order.

 

IX. Laundry is done by the men themselves.

 

X. Correct.


XI. Canteen is said to be very poor. Some beer is occasionally available.

 

XII. No religious attendance so far.

 

XIII. Recreation is in order. The men play football, they have boxing gloves, indoor games, books and a guitar are available.

 

XIV. Satisfactory.

 

XV. Nothing to report.

 

XVI. Besides the insufficiencies mentioned above, there was only one other complaint which dealt with the behaviour of the guards. There is too much dealing with the rifle butt and petty annoyance from the sentries. Specially two men were pointed out as being the trouble-makers. The Delegate made a very strong objection to this behaviour and the Guards Company Commander promised to reprimand these men and/or eventually send them to another Kdo.

 

XVII. Once these various points will be straightened-out this Kommando will certainly become a very good one. The M.o.C. looks after his men like a mother and has never left them since they went into action together.

 

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Arb. Kdo. 953 Rauden.

Date of visit: August 22nd 1944

British M.o.C.: Pte. L. Enouy (26044) (absent)

acting: Pte. J.T. Reid (26491)

 

This Kommando was pointed out to be the worst one by the Chief M.o.C. at Stalag.

 

I. This Detachment is quartered in a large room, former garage, in one of the farm-buildings. The room may be considered adequate as for a garage but it is not so for a P.o.W. camp. There are only two small windows in the back of the room and a large door to enter. Once this door is closed it is almost dark in the billet and the ventilation is insufficient. One of the corners is most of the time very damp and when it is raining the water is leaking through and running right into the room where it forms a puddle. The compound is too small.

 

II. 28 Canadian Ps.o.W. form the camp strength. They are all working on this farm on general farm work or in the forest. Working hours from 7.00 to 20.00 with 2 1/2 hrs break for the meals. Every third Sunday is free.

 

III. The men sleep on double-tier double bunks on straw, one blanket from the Germans. No cupboards but small shelves. Just sufficient sitting accommodation and tables. Large brick stove, insufficient electric light. There is a small separation in the room which forms the kitchen.

 

IV. Washing facilities consist of several enamel washbasins from the Canadian Red Cross. Running cold water in the camp but no drainage. The men also have a wooden bathtub and the water can be heated in the kitchen, but the boiler is too small.

 

V. Latrines are in little shed in the far corner of the compound. 2 seats, bucket-type. Disinfectant available.

 

VI. Self-cooking, one of the prisoners i/c. The rations are drawn from Polzin, 13 km away, and are brought to the farm with the milk-waggon. The inspector of the farm shows tendencies to interfere with the issuing of the rations. This was immediately stopped and they are kept in the Red Cross store-room now.

 

VII. Sick parades with a civilian doctor at Polzin (13 km). The men are allowed to go there by milk waggon. Mental treatment organized and first-aid kit available.

 

VIII. In good order.

 

IX. The laundry is done by the men themselves.

 

X. Correct.

 

XI. Canteen supplies from Stalag. (one razor-blade per man per month, some matches and tooth-powder) Beer too is occasionally available.

 

XII. The padre from Stalag has been here.

 

XIII. Recreation is satisfactory, ball-games are played and swimming has been allowed as well. There are some indoor games, books and musical instruments available.

 

XIV. Mail is reported to be satisfactory.

 

XV. Nothing to report.

 

XVI. No other complaint was brought to the Delegates knowledge except about the already mentioned insufficiencies of the billet. The Delegate made a very strong protest about this miserable billet. He asked for immediate improvement, such as repairing the leaking corners, better ventilation, better lights, building in of a smaller door, more windows, proper drainage system, straw covers, etc. The accompanying officer from Stalag i/c Labour-Detachments, Hptm. Petermann supported these demands and told the Delegate that Kommando would be dissolved if not definite improvements were made within four weeks.

 

XVII. Once this work will be done, the Kommando may certainly become a good one. The Kommandoführer is a very reasonable man and helps the prisoners as much as he can.

 

(sig). ALBERT A. KADLER