No.695

CONFIDENTIAL

AMERICAN/BRITISH

Date of visit: February 16th, 1945.

 

STALAG III A, LUCKENWALDE.

 

Camp Commander

Second in Command

Camp Officer for Oflag

Security Officer

German Medical Officer

Welfare Officers

Accompanying Officer from OKW

Senior British Officer for Oflag

Senior American Officer for Oflag

American Man of Confidence for Compound 1

    (formerly Stalag III B)

British Man of Confidence for Compound 2

    (formerly Luft 7)

American Medical Officers

 

 

British Medical Officer

Oberst Lutter

Oberstleutnant Dr. Loehr

Oberstleutnant Koenig

Hauptmann von Canitz

Oberstabsarzt Dr. Dunsing

Sonderfuehrer Braune & Jenks

Major Boesenberg

G/Capt. Willets, RAF from L3

Lt.Col. Roy J. Herte, POW No.88501

Sgt. Gasperich POW No.110388

 

P/O. Peter A. Thomson, RAAF.

 

Lt. Col. David Gold, POW No.313473

Capt. Peter Graffagnie, POW No.3149

Lt. Michael Palamar, POW No.10103

Capt. D.G. Howatson, RAMC

 

This report deals solely with those Prisoners of War, who have been evacuated from their former Prisoners of War camps due to the advance and consequently capture by the Russian Army of those places, in which the former camps were situated. A separate report with regard to conditions of the main Stalag is being forwarded.

 

I. GENERAL DESCRIPTION.

        The situation and the lay-out of this Stalag has been described in our previous reports. It serves for prisoners of war of various nationalities like all the standard camps in Germany. Each nationality is separated from the rest. The evacuated American and British prisoners of war are housed within the area of this Stalag, however, they are separated from those British prisoners of war who, so far, have been established in the British section of this Stalag. The evacuated POWs again are being kept in separate compounds and are not allowed to contact each others, they are known as: Oflag III A for American Officers from Oflag 64 Alt Burgund and British Officers from Luft 3 Sagan, Compound 1 for American NCO's from Stalag III B, Fuerstenberg, Compound 2 for British NCO's from Luft 7, Bankau.

        Since not all the evacuated POWs could have been accommodated in barracks, seven large tents, measuring 40 x 20m. each, had been erected in which 2,800 POWs are living.

 

II. CAPACITY AND PRESENT PERSONNEL.

        The following figures show the strength of the evacuated POWs and the places where they came from on the day of the Delegate's visit:

 

Oflag IIIA:

 

 

 

Compound 1:

Compound 2:

 

 418 USA Officers from Oflag 64 Alt-Burgund

   43 USA Orderlies  "       "      "     "         "

1220 British Officers from Luft 3, Sagan

  137 British Orderlies  "      "    "      "

3900 USA. NCO's from Stalag IIIB, Fuerstenberg

1516 British NCO's from Luft 7, Bankau

    30 British NCO's from Stalag 344, Lamsdorf

Total

USA:

 

461

 

 

3900

 

 

4361

British

 

 

 

1357

 

 

1546

2903

 

III. INTERIOR ARRANGEMENTS.

        There is an excessive overcrowding in all compounds. The barracks are the usual type of two large rooms on each side and a washroom and night latrine in the middle. The floor space of each room is 8 x 39 feet and is supposed to accommodate 200 men, while at present 400 men are living in each room.

        Triple-tier beds have been provided, however, not sufficient for all men and in quite a number of the beds the wooden boards are lacking, so that about 100 men have to sleep on the floor. There are very few tables and chairs in the rooms. Some straw or wood-wool has been provided but not an adequate amount and a great many are sleeping on the bare boards or on the naked floor with just one blanket underneath and another blanket to cover. Some of the rooms have no beds whatsoever and all the POWs in those rooms are forced to sleep on the floor.

        In the barracks of the OFLAG, the conditions are somewhat better, but even there, some of the officers have to sleep on the floor, since not enough boards for the beds have been provided.

        All barracks are in bad state and need repairing, in some of them the roofs are leaking.

        The tents are of the regular army tents of white canvas, but due to camouflaging they are dark and dismal. In each tent measuring 40 x 20 meter are accommodated 400 USA NCO's from Stalag III B, Fuerstenberg, thus 2,000 USA NCO's from Stalag III B, Fuerstenberg are living in the 7 tents. A thin layer of straw has been put on the ground on which the tents have been erected, which serves as sleeping quarters for the men. There are no beds, chairs or tables. The men are very close together and only a very narrow passage is left in the middle of the tent. There is no heating and no lights in the tents. Each POW has been provided with two and very often with three German blankets.

        There is a great shortage of eating utensils in all quarters of this camp. Heating is practically nil, since no coal is obtainable. Wood cutting parties are bringing in wood daily for heating the barracks, no provision for heating exists in the tents.

        The Delegate made a very strong protest with regard to these conditions and the camp commander stated, that the necessary arrangements have already been made with regard to supplying bed boards, more straw, wood-wool and eating utensils, that, however, he is unable to do anything with regard to ease the overcrowding.

        He mentioned that due to the quick advance of the Russian Army, those POWs arrived here without being previously notified and he simply had to find room for them. He assured the Delegate that he is doing everything in his power to improve the situation, but that he cannot expect any help from anywhere.

 

IV. WASHING AND BATHING FACILITIES.

        Washing facilities are totally inadequate. In the middle of each barrack is a washroom sufficient for 400 men, however, since the strength of each barrack has been doubled, the shortage is very great. There are no washing facilities for the men in the tents, they wash in the barracks, whenever they are free, but mostly fetch water in buckets and wash and shave in or outside tents. So far no hot water or showers have been provided, except on the day of the arrival, when each POW had been deloused. The only arrangement for showers is in the delouser, which, however, is daily occupied.

 

V. TOILET FACILITIES.

        Each barrack has two seats to serve as night latrine. In addition to these, there are latrine barracks, which are insufficient for the present strength, as it leaves only about 1 seat for 75 men.

        The latrines which have been made for those living in tents are in the open. Behind each tent is a large trench about 100 meter long and 1 meter large with one pole along one side of the length of the trench to sit on, without any shelter or cover for protection against snow or wind. The conditions are considered especially bad due to the fact, that about 60% of all the POWs are suffering mainly from dysentery, frost-bites, colds etc. No provision has been made to accommodate those separately or to have latrines reserved for those with dysentery.

 

VI. FOOD AND COOKING.

        The food is cooked in the main cookhouse, which serves for all POWs in this Stalag. A separate cookhouse is in use for the Officers. The present German rations are as follows per man per week:

Bread

Margarine

Artificial Honey

Cheese

Sugar

Fresh Meat

Oatmeal or Soup powder

Potatoes

Turnips

Dried Vegetables

Salt

 1400 gr.

218 gr.

175 gr.

62.5 gr.

175 gr.

200 gr.

350 gr.

2800 gr.

2400 gr.

30 gr.

140 gr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

, of which none is available

        The food is insufficient and is very much felt after the hardship, which they had to endure on their long marching route, during which little food had been supplied, with the result, that the greatest percentage of men are undernourished. There are neither Standard of Diet Red Cross parcels at the Stalag. According to the representative of the International Red Cross in Berlin, a large shipment of Red Cross parcels left by truck from Lubeck for this Stalag on February 17th, 1945. It is hoped that it will soon arrived and that distribution of these parcels will start at once.

 

VII. MEDICAL ATTENTION AND STATE OF HEALTH.

        As previously mentioned the state of health is very bad, about 60% of all POWs suffer either from Dysentery, frost-bites, severe colds or are weakened through the hardship of the march and due to insufficient food on the march and at present. There is a lazaret and a revier at this Stalag, however, all beds are already occupied. One case of scarlet fever, three cases of diphtheria and one case of pneumonia have been admitted to the lazaret. The rest of the sick are living among all other men in the much overcrowded quarters. The American and British Medical Officers are doing everything possible to help the sick, but they are very much hampered as they have practically no medicaments or drugs. They are able to take only very little with them on the march and at the Stalag there are no medicine parcels. Very little is supplied by the Germans since they were not prepared for such an influx of POWs. About 5% of all men besides those, who are sick, cannot appear for roll-call on account of their weak state due to undernourishment and exhaustion from the march. The danger of spreading these illnesses among all the POWs is great if no immediate action is being taken to separate the sick. This has been pointed out by the Delegate to the German authorities. The camp commander promised to study the question and if possible to have one or two barracks reserved only for the sick and to accommodate the others in the tents, as there are no more rooms available. The building of additional barracks seems to be out of the question as no material is on hand and in the present state of transportation in Germany, no material can possibly be supplied from elsewhere. The Delegate further pointed out to the camp commander, that due to the present state of health of all POWs, any further dislocation on foot would be impossible.

 

VIII. CLOTHING.

        The clothing situation is bad, as most of the POWs have only the clothing which they are wearing. They were not able to carry all their clothing with them on their march. Moreover, at Stalag III B, Fuerstenberg, the POWs were not allowed to take along the various items, which were kept in safe-keeping for them. According to the Man of Confidence the following articles were in store at the camp:

about 500

2000

1000

1000

512

130

19

2

pairs of boots

shirts

undershirts

drawers

diet parcels

standard food parcels

bags for personal parcels, which had just arrived

Million Cigarettes, Cigars and Tobacco

 

IX. LAUNDRY.

        There is no laundry and no hot water. Since most of the POWs have only one set of garments, there are unable to wash them under the present condition of cold and wet weather.

 

X. MONEY AND PAY.

        Nothing to report.

 

XI. CANTEEN.

        Nothing available.

 

XII. RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES.

        The padre from Luft 7, Bankau and Stalag III B, Fuerstenberg are holding some sort of service in each barrack and tent.

 

XIII. RECREATION AND EXERCISE.

        The large sports-field of the Stalag is available for exercise on certain hours, however due to the present state of health there has been little or no desire for any sports.

 

XIV. MAIL.

        No incoming mail due to transfer. Outgoing mail practically nil, as no forms are available.

 

XV. WELFARE ACTIVITY.

        A representative from the International Red Cross paid a visit a week ago.

 

XVI. COMPLAINTS.

        The Senior British Officer, G/Capt. Willetts, the Senior American Officer, Lt.Col. R.J. Herte and all the Men of Confidence informed the Delegate, that they had never been asked by the Germans authorities, whether they would prefer to remain in their previous camp and fall into the hands of the advancing Russians or to be transferred inside Germany, in spite of the propaganda made by Germany on the Radio and in their newspaper, i.e. that the British POWs, it actually mentioned British Officers from a Luft Camp in Upper-Silesia, have asked to be transferred inside Germany as they do not wish to fall into the hands of the Russians. They have asked the Delegate to make this absolutely clear to their respective Governments.

        G/Capt. Willetts informed the Delegate, that approximately 30,000 Red Cross parcels had to be left at the Depot at Luft 3, Sagan and according to the Man of Confidence of Stalag III B, Fuerstenberg about 11,000 Red Cross parcels were left behind at the depot at Guben. The camp commander had no knowledge of this and mentions that he expects, that these parcels are being forwarded. Various complaints had been brought forward with regard to the conditions on the march from the previous camps to this Stalag. They are being dealt with separately in a special report.

 

XVII. GENERAL IMPRESSION.

        The Delegate made a very strong protest to the German authorities with regard to the very bad conditions in the camp. The commander mentioned that he is fully aware of the situation and made it very clear that these POWs have been forced upon him without having received any notice previously and that he is prepared to do everything possible to improve the situation, however, due to lack of space and material he is able to do very little. Furthermore it was pointed out to the camp commander that the most important thing at present is to separate the sick from the others, especially those suffering with contagious diseases, such as dysentery, severe colds and pleurisy, to which he agreed and mentioned that he would give his immediate attention to it. The Delegate also made it very clear that the camp commander is made entirely responsible for the safety and health of the POWs and that under no conditions should they be sent forth to march again until they have fully recovered from their present state of weakness. Apparently for the present no transfer from here is foreseen. A very strong protest has already been made direct to the German High Command with regard to the conditions at this Stalag after the visit of the Delegate.

 

(sgd.) Albert A. KADLER.

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL

AMERICAN/BRITISH

 

SPECIAL REPORT ON CONDITIONS DURING THE FORCED MARCH OF AMERICAN AND BRITISH PRISONERS OF WAR FROM THEIR FORMER CAMPS TO STALAG III A, LUCKENWALDE.

 

The following prisoners of war have been forced to evacuate on foot from their former camps to Stalag III A, Luckenwalde, due to the advance of the Russian Army:

 

From Oflag 64, Alt-Burgund:

 

From Luft 3, Sagan:

 

From Stalag IIIB, Fürstenberg:

From Luft 7, Bankau:

 

461 American Officers

43 American Orderlies

1220 British Officers

137 British Orderlies

3900 American NCO's

1516 British NCO's

38 British NCO's from

     Stalag 344

Total:

American

 

461

 

 

3990

 

 

 

4361

British

 

 

 

1357

 

 

 

1546

2903

        Details of the conditions on the evacuation are given below:

 

OFLAG 64, ALT-BURGUND:

        All Officers and enlisted men received orders to evacuate within a few hours on foot on January 21st, 1945, since there were no transport facilities available. They were issued with one Red Cross parcel per man when leaving the camp, as well as 150 loafs of bread for all the POWs, which was all the bread available at Alt-Burgund.

        1st day: Marching from Alt-Burgund through [Nain?] to Lenkenow, distance 25 km.

        2nd day: Marching from Lenkenow through Netztal to Eichfeld. At Netztal one third of a block of margarine, amounting to 80 grammes, was issued to each POW.

        3rd day: Leaving Eichfeld at 3.30 p.m. only as far as Charlotteburg, where they arrived at 6.30 p.m.

        4th day: In the early morning one cup of pea-soup was given to each man before leaving, they marched on this day as far as Lobsens, where they received 10 grammes of cheese and 1/4 loaf of bread.

        5th day: Marching within 4 km. of Flatow.

        6th day: Due to illness and unable to continue to march, 89 Officers and 4 enlisted men under the command of Lt. Col. Roy J. Herte, U.S. Army, POW No. 88501, were taken to Flatow to be entrained for Stalag IIIA, Luckenwalde, while the remaining Officers and enlisted men from Oflag 64, Alt-Burgund continued their march. At Flatow, these POWs were given soup and one fifth of a loaf of bread.

                These 87 Officers and 4 enlisted men were put into two box-cars, one of which had only a canvas top. The day after they flat Flatow by train, they were issued with three quarter of a loaf of bread and half of one can of German Army meat per man. On the fifth day of the train journey they received one cup of German coffee distributed by the German Red Cross at a station in Berlin. The train journey lasted 6 days and nights. A cup of fresh water was given to each man per day only. The German guards received every day their usual food rations and obtained hot soup at the various stations en route. This group arrived at Luckenwalde on February 1st, 1945 at about 10 a.m. and after having been deloused they received one cup of thick soup at 7 p.m. only.

        6th day: The remaining Officers and enlisted men from Oflag 64, Alt-Burgund, after leaving the first group of POWs at Flatow, continued their march and arrived the same evening at Jastrow, about 20 km. distance. On arrival they received one cup of soup. Here at Jastrow another group, under the command of Lt. Col. Charles H. Jones Jr., of 130 POWs, was unable to continue marching and consequently were entrained for Luckenwalde. They were locked into two freight cars so tightly, that they could not all sit at the same time and were forced to sleep in three-hour shifts, half lying while the other half stood. The train journey took 8 days. Their total ration en route was one bowl of barley soup and one cup of German coffee per man. Their guards received the normal rations and were supplied with hot soup at almost every station. Red Cross workers at various stations, who wanted to give hot soup to the POWs, were not permitted to do so.

        7th day: The remaining Officers and enlisted men from Oflag 64, Alt-Burgund continued their march to Zippnow, a distance of 18 km. Before leaving Jastrow they were supplied with 65 grammes of margarine each. The road was covered with ice and it was snowing hard all the way. During this march the POWs were forced at the point of the gun to lift trucks out of ditches. At Zippnow the POWs were accommodated in various barns and churches.

        8th day: Marching through high drifts of snow a distance of 7 km to the already evacuated Polish Oflag II D, where they spent the rest of the day and night. That day they were issued with Sauerkraut and potatoes. Another group of 60 POWs was unable to continue the march and they were left at this Oflag since there was no transport facility available. Nothing is known of their fate.

        9th day: The POWs received soup before they started at 1 p.m. on their march, which brought them to Machlin to spend the night in barns.

        10th day: Marching through fields to a small village, where they arrived at 8.30 p.m. and where they were accommodated in various small barns.

        11th day: Marching within 2 km. outside Tempelberg, a distance of 14 km., where they received accommodation in small barns, and where about 500 POWs were issued with some rations, the rest received none, as they were a bit further away and no more food was available.

        12th day: Marching to Heinrichsdorf, where they stayed in three big barns and were issued with macaroni soup.

        13th day: Marching to Zuelshagan, a distance of 18 km. Before leaving the POWs received pea-soup, one loaf of bread and about 65 grammes of margarine. 140 POWs were accommodated in a church, the rest in a big barn.

        14th day: Day of resting. The POWs received macaroni soup.

        15th day: Marching to Glenow, a distance of 18 km. Accommodation in a big farm. Potato soup was issued.

        16th day: Marching 20 km. to Zeitlitz, accommodation in a big farm. Issue of potato and cabbage soup. At Zeitlitz 178 Officers were unable to continue their march. There they found 7 British enlisted men, who had lost their comrades and had been unable to continue marching. These 7 British POWs came from working detachment No. E 735, Marienwerder, after 12 days of marching.

        17th day: These 178 American Officers and 7 British enlisted men were entrained for Luckenwalde, while the remaining Officers and enlisted men from Oflag 64, Alt-Burgund continued their marching. The train journey took 5 days and nights through Stargard, Stettin, Pasewalk, Brenzlau and Eberswalde. The only food received on the train journey was one tenth of a can of German Army meat and one cup of hot soup at the station at Pasowalk. They arrived at the station at Luckenwalde at 4.20 p.m. and were first marched to the other side of the town, as the guards apparently did not know where the camp was situated. They arrived finally at Stalag III A, Luckenwalde at 8 p.m. and were at once accommodated in barracks. In the middle of the night they had to get up for delousing, so far no food had been given to them after their arrival, and the following morning at 9 each POW received one fifth of a loaf of bread and one cup of German coffee. They arrived in a state of complete exhaustion and four men actually fainted while having their shower.

 

LUFT 3, SAGAN:

        On the 27th January 1945 at 7 p.m. the S.B.O., G/Capt. Willets, East Compound, has been informed by the German camp officer that on instructions from higher authorities, all POWs were to be moved Westwards, and that the East Compound was to march at 11 p.m.; the move was to be made on foot and no transport whatever would be available to assist on the march which was likely to last four or five days. After hourly postponements throughout the night, 1000 POWs from East Compound were marched out of the camp, each man collecting one American Red Cross parcel to carry with him. No preliminary preparations for the move were made by the Detaining Power, and all preparations which POWs wished to make in anticipation of the event were forbidden. The result was, that prisoners moved off under chaotic conditions of organisation and inadequately equipped for a long march. The day before the move took place, small sledges manufactured by POWs out of Red Cross material were confiscated by the camp authorities, and the making of improvised rucksacks by those who had no kitbags was forbidden by the camp commander. No provision was made for the care of those who might fall sick on the march or for the carriage of their equipment. Throughout the whole journey, the only transport available to the column consisted of two horse-drawn wagons, which were reserved exclusively for the carriage of German equipment.

        53 Prisoners of war, who were unable to march through sickness or wounds were left in the Revier at Stalag Luft 3, Sagan, under the command of Lt. Col. Loock, SAAF, and were supposed to travel by transport at a later date. The itinerary of the march was as follows:

        28th January 1945   Sagan to Halbau 17 kilometres.

        29th January 1945   No marching.

        30th January 1945   Halbau to Leippa 18 kilometres.

        31st January 1945   Leippa to Muskau 31 kilometres.

        1st February 1945   566 POWs detached to join North Compound party.

        2nd February 1945   Muskau to Graustein 18 kilometres.

        3rd February 1945   Graustein to Spremberg 10 kilometres. At Spremberg, Stalag Luft 3 East were joined to the column from Stalag Luft 3 Belaria, and also picked up a number of men who had fallen out from the Stalag Luft 3 North and the Stalag Luft 7 Bankau columns. The combined column now numbered 1415 POWs.

        4th February 1945   Entrained at Spremberg arrived Stalag III A, Luckenwalde.

        The following POWs, who were unable to travel further, were left in the Reserve Lazarett (Hungarian) Muskau, on February 1st, 1945:

                W/O Burton D.F. Service No. NZ 40187 POW No. 423 New Zealander

                F/Kt. Keily, D.B.       "       "           27256    "       "    228356 English

                F/Lt. Wise W.A.        "       "           67076    "       "    663          "

        The only rations issued to the column throughout the march were:

                One half loaf of bread per man

                One issue of barley soup.

        The provision of water was entirely haphazard, on many days the only water available was such as could be begged or bought for cigarettes on the road.

        Failure to make any prior arrangement for the accommodation of prisoners resulted in them being kept for many hours in the open at the end of a hard march in the severest weather conditions, while shelter was arranged. In these circumstances the shelter provided on every occasion was grotesquely inadequate. Roof cover of a sort was, however, given for at least a few hours on every night. The overcrowding, lack of straw and heat, and the failure to provide proper water during the train journey from Spremberg to Luckenwalde together with a wait of some hours in the pouring rain on arrival, has resulted in a very high degree of sickness/

        The marching conditions of the POWs from the Luft 3 Belaria Compound differ very little from those of the marching conditions of the POWs from Luft 3 East Compound. Their itinerary was as follows:

        January 28th, 1945   Sagan, Belaria to Kunau

        January 29th, 1945   Kunau to Gross Selten

        January 30th, 1945   No marching

        January 31st, 1945   Gross Selten to Birkenstedt

        February 1st, 1945   No marching

        February 2nd, 1945   Birkenstedt to Graustein

        February 3rd, 1945   Graustein to Spremberg

        February 4th, 1945   Spremberg by train to Luckenwalde.

        The following POWs who had started on the march from Belaria compound did not arrive at Luckenwalde, they have escaped en route:

                W/Co. R.R. Standford-Tuck

                F/Lt. Likeness

                F/O. J.H. Moss

                F/Lt. Kustraynski

                F/O. J.H. Plack

                F/O. G.B. Brown

                F/O.J.B. Braggs

                F/Lt. J. Regis

                Capt. J.E.D. Evans

                Lt. M. Lorand

                F/Lt. J. Shaw

                P/O. D.W.J. Carr

                F/Lt. Pepler

                F/Lt. C.H. Mitchell

                F/Lt. J.E. Hall

        Their fate is unknown.

 

STALAG III B, FUERSTENBERG:

        On January 31st, 1945, the Man of Confidence, Sgt. Gasperich was informed by the camp authorities that the entire camp would have to be evacuated on foot, the march to start the same day. Approximately 4600 American NCOs started marching the same day at 6 p.m., the last one to leave the camp was at 9 p.m. On leaving, each man was issued with one days ration. They marched the whole night and the following day until 7 p.m., when they were given shelter in some barns for the night. From this day on the daily distance which the men covered, was about 15 kilometres. An exact itinerary was not obtainable, since Sgt. Gasperich did not always know the names of the places where they spent the night. A first group of 20 POWs arrived at Luckenwalde on February 2nd, 1945, while the remaining POWs arrived either on February 6th or 7th, 1945. The only issue of food during the march consisted of one fifth of a loaf of bread, some cheese and one day some soup.

        The quarters provided for the nights were inadequate, during most of the nights a number of POWs had no shelter in spite of the very bad weather conditions, such as snow and rain.

        While passing the town of [Rieberose?], German mounted police ran into the back of the column, knocking some men down, injuring others who could not keep up with the main column.

        Near Opernberg one of the men left the column to adjust his kitbag, the guard ordered him back into the column threatening him with the rifle. The man, however, wanted to finish adjusting his kitbag, and before he had time to explain it to the guard, he was shot through the head and killed. The POWs name is:

                Karl Johnson, Army No. 6930580, the address of the next of kin is

                Alfred E. Johnson, 2121, 22nd, Avenue S., Minneapolis, Minn.

        About 700 POWs, who started marching from Fürstenberg, were left at a camp at Ludwigsburg not far from Luckenwalde, another 20 POWs were left at Minsdorf near Luckenwalde under the command of Sgt. V. [?]. Trotter, POW No.90176. Here also is 1st Lt. Stanley [?] to take care of the sick.

 

LUFT 7, BANKAU:

        On January 17th, 1945, the camp leader, P/O. Peter A. Thomson, RAAF, had been informed by the German camp authorities that all the POWs would have to be ready to evacuate on foot in an hours time. At the same time he was informed that for every one who fell out of the column on the march, five men would be shot. This order had never been given in writing and was never executed.

        The start was postponed until 3.30 a.m. on January 19th, 1945. In the meantime, 68 sick or wounded were taken to the Ilag in the nearby town of Kreuzburg and it is believed, were taken later to Stalag 344, Lamsdorf, for hospitalisation. On leaving each POW was issued with two and a half days marching rations. No transport of any kind was provided for any sick who might fall out of the column during the march, and the only medical equipment which could be taken along, was carried by the Medical Officer, Capt. D.G. Howatson, R.A.M.C. and three sanitators.

        January 19th, 1945: Marching to Winterfeld, a distance of 28 km., under very trying weather conditions and severe cold. Accommodation at Winterfeld in small barns.

        January 20th, 1945: Leaving at 5 a.m. to march as far as Carlsruhe, a distance of 12 km., where they arrived at 10 a.m. At Carlsruhe the POWs were accommodated in an abandoned brick factory, where two field kitchens with a capacity to cook for 200 men were provided to cook for 1550 POWs. The Medical Officer was provided with a cart drawn by a horse for transport of the sick. The cart was big enough to hold six sitting cases. Coffee was given out. After a rest of 11 hours the men were again ordered to march in spite of a protest by the Medical Officer. They left Carlsruhe the same night and marched to Schönfeld, where they arrived at 9 a.m. the following morning after covering a distance of 42 km. The conditions during the night were extreme, the temperature being -13 degrees Centigrade. After the first five kilometres the wagon was filled and from then onwards, men were being picked up on the road side in a collapsed and frozen state, and it was only by sheer willpower and with the moral help of the Medical Officer and the two padres that the men were able to finish the march. The Russian Army was apparently close on their feet, often only a distance of 5 km. After crossing the river Oder, a distance from Carlsruhe of 34 km., they were told that they would be accommodated and that no further move was to be made for two days.

        January 21st, 1945: At Schönfeld the POWs were accommodated in the cow sheds and barns of a farm. Room was provided for the sick at Loss[oh?]. Rations issued were about 100 gr. of biscuits per man and half a cup of coffee.

        January 22nd, 1945: At 3 a.m., orders were given by the Germans to prepare to march off at once. It was dark and there was some delay in getting the men out from their sleeping quarters as they could not find their baggage. The guards thereupon, marched into the quarters and discharged their rifles. The column was marching again by 5 a.m., 23 men, it was ascertained at this stage, were lost and their whereabouts are unknown. They may have been left behind asleep or they may have escaped. There were also 31 POWs evacuated as they were unable to continue to march. It is believed that they had been entrained and sent to Stalag 344, Lamsdorf, however, nothing further had been heard of them. The remaining POWs marched to Jenkwitz, a distance of 24 km and were accommodated at a farm in barns. They were issued with a total of 114 kg. of fat, 46 tins of meat, barley, peas soup about a quarter of a litre per man, no bread.

        January 23rd, 1945: Marching from Jenkwitz to Wansen, about 20 km.

        January 24th, 1945: No marching. The POWs slept in barns, the revier was in a cowshed. 31 POWs who were sick and consequently unable to continue, were evacuated to Sagan. 400 loaves of bread were issued.

        January 25th, 1945: Left Wansen at 4 a.m. for Heidersdorf, covering 30 km.

        January 26th, 1945: Spent the day at Heidersdorf resting. Issue of 600 loaves of bread to last two days.

        January 27th, 1945: Marching to Pfaffendorf, a distance of 19 km.

        January 28th, 1945: Left Pfaffendorf for Standorf at 5 a.m. and marched a distance of 21 km. Issued with 24 cartons of knackebrot, 150 kg. oats, 45 kg. margarine and 50 kg sugar. 22 sick were evacuated at Schweidnitz and eventually arrived at Sagan.

        January 29th, 1945: Left Standorf at 6 p.m. and marched to Peterwitz, a distance of 22 km., where they arrived at 4 a.m. the following day. This march was carried out in darkness under extreme conditions, with a blizzard blowing the whole time. The men arrived at Peterwitz in an utterly exhausted condition. Before leaving Standorf promise had been given that the POWs would have to march no further as transport would be supplied. The following issue was made: 100 kg. meat, 1 sack of salt, 25 kg. German coffee and 100 kg. of barley.

        January 30th, 1945: At Peterwitz, 30 men from Stalag 344, Lamsdorf who had been left without guards, joined the column. 296 loaves of bread, 50 kg. oats and 35.5 kg. margarine were issued.

        January 31st, 1945: Spent the day at Peterwitz. The Germans informed the POWs that they would have to march to Goldberg for transport, as none were available as expected. The following issue was given out: 300 kg. of oats, 50 kg. of German coffee and 40 kg. of margarine.

        February 1st, 1945: Marching to Frausnitz, a distance of 12 km. Here the POWs remained until February 5th, 1945. On February 1st, 1945, they were issued with 680 loaves of bread and 37.5 kg. of margarine. On February 3rd, 1945, they were issued with 250 loaves of bread, 112.5 kg. of margarine, 100 kg sugar, 200 kg. flour and 150 kg. barley. On February 4th, 1945, the issue was 250 loaves of bread. At night on February 4th, 1945, the camp commander, Oberstleutnant Behr, visited the farm and read out an order from the German High Command to the effect that five men were to be released and would be liberated at the first opportunity. (See special report).

        February 5th, 1945: Before leaving, the POWs were issued with 500 loaves of bread, 95 kg. margarine and 530 tins of meat. They were marched to Goldberg, a distance of 8 km. On arrival at Goldberg, they were put into cattle trucks, an average of 55 men to each truck. By this time there were numerous cases of Dysentery, and facilities for men to attend to personal hygiene were inadequate. The majority had no water on the train journey for two days. There was great difficulty for the men to get permission to relieve themselves. The train journey from Goldberg to Luckenwalde lasted from the morning of February 5th to the morning of February 8th, 1945. Before being entrained, the POWs were issued with sufficient rations for two days. The total distance marched was 240 km.

        As a result of the march and the deplorable conditions, the morale of the men is extremely low, they are suffering from a high degree of malnutrition and an outbreak of dysentery, there are numerous cases of frostbite and other ailments. They left Luft 7, Bankau, without Red Cross supplies and throughout the march, all rations were short-issued, the most outstanding being bread.

 

sgd. Albert A. Kadler.